Free Drawing School Online Challenge led by Kirsty McKeown

27 July 2020

Free Drawing School Online Challenge led by Kirsty McKeown

Join the Free Drawing School live online every Monday at 10am.

A different drawing challenge is announced each week for you to get involved with at home between 10am-12pm guided live with an artist.

On Monday 27 July, Kirsty McKeown will lead the Free Drawing School Online Challenge. Kirsty is an artist based in Dundee. She graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone in 2012. Recent projects have focused on the influence of war-time Britain on the changing roles of women at work, with specific reference to four factors: political, physical, industrial and domestic. She works with materials and processes including college, printmaking, analogue photography and altered objects; using found materials and her immediate environment as inspiration.

​Since March 2016 Kirsty has run Chainworks Studios in Dundee, which hosts a varied collective of visual artists and makers in the east of Dundee.  She is co-organiser of Dundee Zine Fest and teaches Art and Design at Glasgow Clyde College.

The Free Drawing School is an annual artist commission awarded to an artist in the DD postcode each year. In August Kirsty will begin as the Artist in Residence for Year Three. More info to be announced soon.

The Free Drawing School Online continues over the summer with many more challenges as we invite lots of guest artists to design the weekly challenge for you to join in with.

The Free Drawing School challenges are designed to be done at home with the resources you can bring together from your drawers and cupboards.

The details of the challenge will be announced here and on social media at 10.00am.

You will have two hours in which to complete the challenge and post your work either in the comments on the Facebook event for others to see or on twitter or instagram with the hashtag #freedrawingschool.

You can also email your outcomes to

1. Portrait of the artist.
2. Install view from Go To It, 2016
3. Caryatid, 2019.
4. Frontier Women, 2019
5. Cyanotype 2, 2018

The Free Drawing School is made possible with generous funding support from The Robertson Trust and The National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Materials Needed

“Hello everyone, I’m Kirsty McKeown and I will be the artist leading the free drawing school for the next year. I just wanted to say a quick hello to you all and give you a brief intro to what we will be doing on the Monday 27th July.

We are going to being making our own drawing and painting tools from materials we can find around the park and garden or perhaps around your home. There is a small amount of prep required but its not a lot and it shouldn’t be too difficult.

Some suggested items to collect before Monday 27th July:

  • Sticks of various sizes and lengths
  • Various natural materials such as moss, dried branches, feathers etc.
  • Sponges
  • Wooden kebab sticks/cocktail sticks
  • Bubble wrap
  • Cardboard
  • Toilet roll tubes

You will also need:

  • String, wire or strong thread
  • Something to draw with such as inks and paint (any colour)
  • Something to draw on such as paper or card (any colour or size will do)
  • Tape
  • Scissors

On the 27th we will make our drawing tools and do some mark making and drawing with what we have made. I can’t wait to see what we all come up with!”

The Challenge

Today’s Free Drawing School challenge:

“Hello everyone.

I’m Kirsty, I am going to be setting this weeks drawing challenge. I will also be leading the free drawing school at Hospitalfield for the next 12 months and I am looking forward to meeting some of you in person as the restrictions lift.

Today we will be making our own drawing tools and doing a little bit of experimental mark making.  Today wont be about drawing something exactly as it exists but about experimenting with different types of line and marks.

By now you should have a nice little collection of materials that you can use to make your own drawing and mark making tools.

  • Start by sorting your materials in front of you, it doesn’t matter if you have a huge pile or only a few things. Take the time to feel the textures of all of your materials and think about how they feel.  Are they hard?  Are they soft?   We are aiming to make tools with a variety of textures so try and make a couple of each – some soft and some that are harder and scratchy.
  • When putting things together try to only bind and tie things together as much as possible. If you are finding it difficult to get things to hold together you can use some glue or tape.
  • Spend as much time as you need making them and making sure things are nice and secure.
  • Once you are happy with what you have made you dip your tools in paint or inks and see what kind of marks they make.
  • If you want to try and draw a specific thing it can be anything you like such as a self-portrait, your pet or the view out of the window.

Have fun and I am excited to see what you all make!”

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