Free Drawing School

Young boy making a paper collage

Artist opportunity - Free Drawing School

We are now accepting applications for an artist for Year Three of the Free Drawing School.

The Free Drawing School is a three year project of experimental drawing at Hospitalfield and is a core-part of our ongoing programme.

The aim of the Free Drawing School is to engage with new audiences in our community of Arbroath and Angus and to encourage creativity in the participants. Over the last two years the Free Drawing School has been working with members of the public on a programme of experimental drawing and we are looking for an ambitious artist or practitioner to continue with this project into year 3. When not working on specific projects you can use as much time as you require to use the facilities for the development of your own work. There will be a studio and other facilities available to you, we see this as an opportunity for an artist to develop their own practice with or alongside the engagement activity.

We appoint an artist each year to take on the role and we are now looking for an artist for year three. This residency will run from May 2020 – April 2021. The deadline for applications is 12 midnight on Wed 12 February 2020. More info on how to apply here.

Find out more about the Free Drawing School. 


The Free Drawing School is an annual artist commission. The artist leading the Free Drawing School in 2019-20 is illustrator Laura Darling. The Free Drawing School will re-open with regular workshops from June 2019.

The Free Drawing School invites groups and members of the public to take part in a programme of experimental drawing inspired by Hospitalfield’s historic walled gardens. Organised by Laura Darling and involving other experienced artists the drawing will take place in the studios, historic rooms, woodland and gardens.

If you would like to be involved in the Free Drawing School please get in touch to be included in the dedicated mailing list and also follow us on social media to get the latest news.

We will be carrying out ongoing projects and sessions with partnership groups during the year. If you are part of these groups and want to check info with us please get in touch or ask your group leader.

In addition we weave the activities of the Free Drawing School into our open weekends and other major events, presenting open and bookable workshops for everyone to attend.

Free Drawing School Opening Times

Practical info
Dates: 20th January – 6th April

Mondays 10.00am -12.00pm

All welcome.

Taught by illustrator Laura Darling, you will experiment with drawing tools and techniques whilst exploring Hospitalfield’s historic grounds.

Booking essential

Cost: Free! Please book via email to or telephone 01241656125.

What to bring: Yourself, warm clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

Where it will happen: At the Drawing School base at Hospitalfield House, Westway, Arbroath, DD11 2NH, 01241 656 124 and in the grounds and gardens.


Practical info about coming to a specific group session organised through a partnership organisation

Dates: Variable and organised through the group leader who will also be the main point of contact for you to book for coming.

Times: Variable and organised through the group leader.

Artists: Laura Darling and other artists working with us at Hospitalfield.

Open to: Anyone within that group, of any age or ability. All groups will be accompanied by their group leader.

Cost: Free!

What to bring: Yourself, warm clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

Where it will happen: At the Drawing School base at Hospitalfield House, Westway, Arbroath, DD11 2NH, 01241 656 124 and in the grounds and gardens.

Year Two Artist Laura Darling

Laura Darling is an illustrator and artist based in Dundee. Her practice is underpinned by drawing, looking, noticing and recording visual details as a way of re-thinking our everyday surroundings. The subject matter she represents varies from animals and the natural world to people and built environments, often combined with hand-lettering. Primarily she uses pencil, ink and watercolours, combining traditional techniques with digital tools to produce playful illustrations.

Laura will be running regular, informal drawing classes and drop-in sessions. Free and open to all, attendees can discover experimental drawing techniques.

Laura is beginning her year leading the Free Drawing School by collaborating with dance artists Mark Bleakley and Katie Miller on the Procession with children from local schools Timmergreens and Muirfield. The Procession will take place on Monday 17 June in Arbroath.

Year One Artist Fergus Tibbs

Fergus Tibbs is an artist based between Glasgow and Dundee. Tibbs was the Free Drawing School artist in residence from June 2018 – May 2019. In his year at the helm of the Free Drawing School he explored ways of engaging different community groups in workshops and slowly creating an archive of found objects and experimental drawings.

Fergus is interested in the different methods and rules that can be used to build and realise collaborative projects. He is interested in the catalytic possibilities that these frameworks can have on a group engaged in creative activity and the way that these systems can emulate and critique infrastructures in society.

He graduated from fine art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in 2016. He has been a committee member at Generator projects. As an artist he acts as a facilitator, maker, participant, director, curator, promoter. Past works include discussions, experimental club nights, workshops, ephemeral happenings, exhibitions and publications.