Free Drawing School Online with Pester and Rossi – Part One

17 October 2020

Free Drawing School Online led by Ruby Pester and Nadia Rossi

Join guest artists Pester and Rossi on Saturday 17 and Saturday 24 October at 10am for a two part drawing challenge suitable for families and anyone to try.

Free Drawing School Online challenge is a free series of online events specially designed by artists, inviting you to get involved with at home guided live with an artist.

This week’s challenge is led by Pester and Rossi. Ruby Pester and Nadia Rossi have been working together since 2008, creating live art, installation and public interventions in response to people and places. Their work celebrates the power of group action. Recent major projects include Infinity Pitch at BALTIC Gateshead, a residency at Glasgow Sculpture Studios and Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. They are currently working on a project called ‘Playing Out’ produced by Rule Of Threes which explores the radical play history of Bootle in Liverpool. Ruby and Nadia were lead artists for Hospitalfield’s Children’ Procession in 2017 celebrating pupils from Timmergreens and Muirfield Primary Schools step forwards into the next stage of their lives.

Touching Nature – Draw What You Feel
Exercises and experiments in drawing and touching to connect with nature during a pandemic when our sense of physical touch with others is limited.

Ruby and Nadia are setting instructions in two parts over two Saturdays. Join in with both or whichever one you can.

Materials Needed for 17 October 2020

  • Blindfold
  • Pens/pencils/paint /pastels
  • Face paints (or water based paints)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Large white paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick or tape

Instructions for part one of the challenge will be announced here and on social media at 10am on Saturday 17 October with part two announced at 10am on Saturday 24 October.

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

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


  1. Hospitalfield Children’s Procession, 2017
  2. Film still by Catherine Weir
  3. Infinity Pitch, Baltic, 2019
  4. Pulpworks, Canal Festival photo by Jassy Earl


Instructions for Draw What You Feel

“Hi everyone, here are our instructions for week one of Touching Nature: Draw What You Feel.

Exercises and experiments in drawing and touching to connect with nature during a pandemic when our sense of physical touch with others is limited.

Today’s task is drawing with your eyes closed, an exercise zooming in on our sense of touch by restricting other senses.

Materials Needed:
• Blindfold
• Pens/pencils/paint /pastels
• Facepaints (or water-based paints)
• Paintbrushes
• Large white paper
• Scissors
• Glue stick or tape

Part One:

  • Explore the Ground Around You: Collect some natural objects from a space outside like a garden, beach or park near where you live. Objects could be a stone, a stick, a plant, a leaf, a shell, a fruit or vegetable. Explore the ground around you and see what you can find.
  • Draw What You Feel: Have the objects you’ve collected in front of you. Close your eyes or use a blindfold) and find each object with your hands, touching each object individually, one at a time. On a sheet of paper make a drawing of each object (keep your eyes closed.) Then on top of the drawing or next to it on the page make marks, shapes and patterns drawing the feelings of the object you are touching. Draw big, draw small, draw hard, draw soft, write down words that come to mind, whatever you feel like. Let the marks be the sensations you feel. Repeat this process for each object you have found.
  • The Life Story of An Object in 3 Drawings: Imagine the lifespan of each object you found. Where has it been? What has it seen? What has it felt? Choose an object and make a story of the object in three drawings. You can use words too if you like.
  • New Imagined Landscape: Use the drawings and marks you have made to make a new imagined landscape. You can cut out, redraw or paint parts from your previous drawings. Build layers of collage, duplicate parts or cut and paste pieces together using scissors and a glue stick or tape.Think about the forms and features within your landscape. There could be ice-capped mountains, hills, bodies of water, islands, vegetation, forests, deserts or buildings and structures. What or who lives in your landscape? What does it feel like to be there?
  • Take Yourself There: Follow the shape and forms of your new landscape from the paper and paint them onto your face. If you live with another person they could do this with you. Close your eyes and feel the sensation of the brush marks as they move over your nose and cheeks. Keep your eyes closed for a bit longer and see how it feels. Look in the mirror when you’re finished and admire your new view.”

We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

You can share your work using #freedrawingschool or email to

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