National Drawing Day brings creativity countrywide 

Celebrating the fifteenth edition of National Gallery of Ireland initiative

On National Drawing Day, Saturday 18 May 2019, the National Gallery of Ireland encourages people to get drawing with a jam-packed day of free events for all ages across the country. Children, families, teens and adults are invited to get creative, with sketching tours, live performances, and workshops on offer in the Gallery’s inspirational spaces in Dublin. Or, people can also take part locally, at dozens of participating venues countrywide.

This is the fifteenth year of National Drawing Day, first held by the Gallery in 2004 when just three other venues took part. This popular annual event now spans 38 local venues around the island of Ireland, including museums, libraries and cultural centres. 

Highlights of the Gallery’s 2019 programme are Outfit of the Eraa creative fashion-based workshop created by five students from the Gallery’s Transition Year programme; Collective Shape-Making for families, exploring the negative space your body creates; and a sensory drawing workshop for adults who are autistic. Other options include life drawing, a print demonstration, and a workshop on interpreting music through art. 

National Drawing Day activities around Ireland include an interactive trail for all ages with artist David Smith at The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon, and a drop-in workshop for all ages at Lismore Castle Arts. Or try drawing with wood and felt at The National Design and Craft Gallery, Kilkenny. The Ulster Museum and Mid-Antrim Museum at the Braid will both also offer a National Drawing Day programme. 


National Drawing Day Programme at the National Gallery of Ireland

10am - 10.45am \ Sensory-friendly Workshop for Children

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

Print Gallery | Free | Pre-booking required

10am - 1pm \ It is a Proper Book! Writing and Illustrating for Children & Getting Published

International Literature Festival Dublin and Children’s Books Ireland join 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 is aimed at children’s writers and illustrators.

Lecture Theatre | €18 - €20 | Pre-booking required at 

11am - 1pm \ Life Drawing for Young People and Adults

Artist Fintan Mahon is back to facilitate this life drawing session for young people and adults.

Shaw Room | Free | No booking required - drop in!

11.30am,  12.30pm & 1.30pm \ Sketching Tours

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

Merrion Square Information Desk | Free | No booking required

12pm - 1pm \ 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.

Merrion Square forecourt | Free | No booking required - drop in!

12pm - 3pm \ 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 can immerse themselves in the styles portrayed in the gallery through all eras. In our workshop you will be able to create your own outfit using paint markers on a glass wall which can be displayed on friends and family when they stand behind it.  

Courtyard | Free | No booking required - drop in!

12.30pm & 1.45pm \ Treble Sketch
This Drawing Day project created by transition year students, challenges individuals to draw their interpretation of music. It is inspired by the works of Irish artists that can be seen in the exhibition Shaping Ireland. To emphasise this, Ar An Imeall, a young traditional band will be playing in the atrium. Participants are asked to enjoy the live music and draw their relationship with it, be it drawing the band or expressing their emotions.

Atrium | Free | No booking required - drop in!

1pm - 3.30pm \ Drawing Live

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

Throughout the Gallery | Free | No booking required

2pm - 3.30pm \ Family Drop-in Drawing

Artist Frances Coghlan will facilitate this fun, inclusive family activity.

Shaw Room | Free | No booking required - drop in!

2pm - 3pm \ Sensory Drawing Session for Adults

Self-directed session designed for adults who are autistic.

Millennium Wing Studio | Free, but booking required

3.15pm - 4pm \ Print Demonstration 

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

Print Gallery | Free | No booking required - drop in!


Participating Drawing Day Venues
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 Museum
Glucksman, Cork
Hunt Museum, Limerick
Kerry County Museum, Tralee
Knock Museum
Lismore Castle Arts
Little Museum of Dublin
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
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 Museum
West Cork Arts Centre
Wexford Arts Centre