Free Drawing School Online Challenge led by Laura Darling

6 April 2020

Paper pencils and an Ipad on a desk

Online Drawing Challenge led by Laura Darling of The Free Drawing School

Each Monday at 10.00am The Free Drawing School artist Laura Darling is going to announce a drawing challenge.

What you’ll need:
• A drawing tool – pencil, biro, eyeliner, anything goes!
• Something to draw on – this can be fancy artists’ paper or the back of an envelope, just whatever you have!
• Internet access (so you know what the challenge is)
• A camera phone/scanner (if you would like to share your work, and we hope you will)

The details of the challenge will be announced at 10.00am.

You will have two hours in which to complete the challenge and post your work in the comments on our Facebook page for others to see.

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

Sketchbook Drawing of the letter L

6 April Drawing Challenge: Illuminated letters

DRAWING CHALLENGE: Illuminated letters

Good morning! I’m Laura and I’m the Free Drawing School Artist at Hospitalfield.

I’m working on a graphic novel about the history of the walled garden.

Did you know the garden was originally used to provide medicinal plants for a hospital run by monks from Arbroath Abbey?

In 1260 the monks built the hospital and set up the garden.

Monks were educated and highly skilled craftsmen – stonemasons, carpenters, blacksmiths and calligraphers.

Your challenge this morning is inspired by illuminated manuscripts.



PART ONE (up to 1 hour)*

Find as many things as you can that start with the FIRST LETTER OF YOUR NAME (you can choose someone else’s name but don’t spent too long deciding!)

Draw these things!


PART TWO (up to 20 minutes)*

Find examples of lettering (in books, takeaway menus, packaging)

Practice drawing your letter in all the different styles. Make it nice and big.

PART THREE (up to 40 minutes)*

Combine them! You can do this by copying your drawings, tracing them, or cutting and collaging.

*Timings are a suggestion to keep you on track – if you like to draw quickly feel free to try this with more than one letter.


  •  You must draw from observation (i.e. something you can see).
  • No internet searches! Things you have in your house/garden only.
  • Finish, photograph and share* your work in the comments below by midday today.


  • Warm up! Use the first five minutes to scribble, doodle and get used to making marks.
  • Time yourself so you don’t get stuck on a drawing – give yourself 5 minutes/10 minutes and move on.
  • Vary your lines – try using the side of your pencil/press harder or more lightly with your pen.

*I would love to see what you’ve drawn! You can choose to upload all, some or just one of your drawings to the comments below.

Don’t worry about it being ‘good’ – this is a chance for us all to be creative together and gain a glimpse into each other’s worlds.



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