National Drawing Day at the National Gallery of Ireland

Poster for National Drawing Day. Text reads National Drawing Day Saturday 18 May 2019.

National Drawing Day is an annual event, initiated by the Gallery's Education Department, that takes place in galleries, museums, art centres and libraries nationwide. It's a celebration of drawing and creativity and there are lots of free events and activities for all ages. Get creative in the Gallery, or at one of the dozens of participating institutions nationwide.

National Drawing Day took place on Saturday, 18 May 2019.

Here's what happened in the Gallery on 18 May 2019

Sensory-friendly Workshop for Children

A sensory drawing session designed for especially for children aged 4-10, who may struggle with their sensory environment.

It is a Proper Book! Writing and Illustrating for Children & Getting Published

International Literature Festival Dublin and Children’s Books Ireland joined us at the Gallery for this very special practical and informative event about writing, illustrating and getting published! With a stellar line-up of speakers, this event was aimed at children’s writers and illustrators.

Life Drawing for Young People and Adults

Artist Fintan Mahon facilitated this life drawing session for young people and adults. 

Sketching Tours

Exploring the Gallery's collection and beautiful architecture on our free sketching tours.

Collective Shape-Making 

Make 3D Josef Albers-inspired drawings based on the negative space your body creates! An interactive workshop for families to enjoy together.

For Young People by Young People 

Special activities facilitated by the fantastic students from our 2019 Transition Year work experience programme.

Outfit of the Era

Outfit of the Era is a creative fashion-based workshop created by five students from the Gallery’s TY program. All visitors immersed themselves in the styles portrayed in the Gallery through all eras. Participants created their own outfits using paint markers on a glass wall.

Treble Sketch

This project created by transition year students, challenged individuals to draw their interpretation of music, inspired by works in the exhibition Shaping Ireland. To emphasise this, Ar An Imeall, a young traditional band played in the Atrium, and participants were invited to draw their relationship with the live music, be it drawing the band or expressing their emotions.

Drawing Live 

Illustrators Ella Okstad and Owen Davey created new drawings and illustrations in response to the Gallery and the collection (in association with ILF Dublin).

Family Drop-in Drawing

Artist Frances Coghlan facilitated this fun, inclusive family activity.

Sensory Drawing Session for Adults

Self-directed session designed for adults who are autistic.

Print Demonstration 

Graphic Studio Dublin artists Julie Ann Haines and Ria Czerniak demonstrated printmaking techniques.


Nationwide Events


Backwater Artists Group, Cork / Butler Gallery, Kilkenny / Crawford Art Gallery, Cork / Creative Spark, Louth / Draíocht, Blanchardstown / Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane / Galway City Museum / Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford / Glasnevin Cemetery MuseumGlucksman, Cork / Hunt Museum, Limerick / Irish Museum of Modern Art / Kerry County Museum, Tralee / Knock Museum / Lismore Castle Arts / Little Museum of Dublin / Luan Gallery, Athlone / Mid-Antrim Museum at The Braid, Ballymena / Muckross Traditional Farms/ National Design & Craft Gallery, Kilkenny / National Library Photographic Archive / National Museum of Ireland - Collins Barracks / National Museum of Ireland - Kildare Street National Museums NI, Ulster Museum / National Print Museum / Presentation Arts Centre, Wexford / Rathfarnham Castle / Riverbank Arts Centre, Kildare / Schoolhouse For Art, Enniskerry / Solas Art Gallery, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim / Solstice Arts Centre, Navan / Southpaw Art Studio / South Tipperary Arts Centre / Temple Bar Gallery + Studios / The Ark - A Cultural Centre for Children, Dublin / The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon / The Naughton Gallery at Queens / Tin Jug Studio, Birr / Waterford County MuseumWest Cork Arts Centre / Wexford Arts Centre


Get involved!

We are calling on museums, galleries, libraries and arts centres to take part in National Drawing Day 2020. Cultural institutions all over Ireland are already planning engaging workshops, talks and tours to encourage people to get drawing.

Contact [email protected] if you would like to host an event.


Watch a video of highlights from National Drawing Day 2018 below

National Drawing Day 2018

Photo of a group of people standing beside two easels holding portraits on paper.

National Drawing Day 2017


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