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Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Big Draws Big Splash

On Sunday I was one of many artists that joined Quentin Blake and the Big Draw team to support and host an amazing catalogue of canal-side adventures.  The event started at 12 noon when Quentin Blake tugged along the canal from the London Canal Museum to launch the event, cutting the ribbon between the tug boat and the floating drawing island art studio! As soon as the ribbon was cut the adventures began. Children, young people and adults from all walks of life came along to the amazing Kings Place building in Islington to take part in a chocolate box of creative activities, with a flavour suitable for all. Nina Chakrabarti lead a workshop exploring emblazing a jacket with badges and designing a giant fashion fanzine. The House of Illustration brought their zoetrope along and invited participants to make their own short animations - filmed with the aim of being displayed online. Teenagers and adults created a comic in a day with graphic novelist Karrie Fransman and created cartoon characters with Joe Berger. Alongside the canal was the opportunity to make your own boat to float along the canal using recyclable materials, Linda Scott lead a bubble writing class and Sarah Bridgland inspired participants to create their own mini maritime sculpture using a matchbox as a starting point. And all this for free -Phew!!!
And that’s not all, alongside these amazing workshops the Big Draw volunteers also lead some Big Draw favourites including The Drawing Stall where you could exchange your drawing for another drawing, the opportunity to draw your own portrait for the online gallery and add to the ever growing Drawing Scroll at the front of the building.
Star artist’s Quentin Blake, Marf, Nadia Shireen , Stephanie von Reiswitz and Adam Dant took turns on the Big Picture Frame creating five incredible illustrations, whilst eager fans looked on and marvelled and in some cases even joined in,
Throughout the day there was an incredible atmosphere and excitement with many people trying activities for the first time. The Big Draw is a truly inspiration event from providing fresh ideas for artists, concepts for the classroom to the opportunity to explore your own hidden creativity. Below are my images from the day, for more information on Big Draw events visit their website
 Quentin Blake cutting the ribbon
 Let the drawing begin
 A pirate and mermaid modelling for the life drawing workshop in the main foyer
 An artists image from the life drawing workshop
The ever growing Drawing Scroll
Activities were suitable for all ages - the Big Draw truly is Art for ALL, in this workshop the entire floor was covered and participants could draw or paint on the paper whilst musician and sensory lights flickered in the background. How happy does this chappie look?
 Boat building along the canal, many of these unfortunately did not get to float as their was a strong current but I did see a few launch successfully
 Artists and the general public chalked their way to Kings Place just in case anyone was in doubt of where the activities were taking place. You'll be pleased to know that this was all washed off at the end of the day.
 The portrait workshop, many of the drawings created are to be posted on The Big Draws online gallery
One of the many amazing matchbox sculptures, I wonder if this is the pirates treasure chest from the life drawing workshop? 
Even Quentin Blake couldn't resist taking part in the portrait workshop, drawing one of the many volunteers portrait. 
My matchbox sculpture from the day - inspired by Quentin Blake of course - this is my folding boat race
All the matchbox sculptures together at the end of the day, in the centre you can see a black oil spill with BP on it - very clever
A series of drawings ready for the zoetrope, in this animation a sausage is emerging from a tap whilst a startled figure appears at the bottom of the picture frames 
The zoetrope! 
 I was so impressed with how at ease Quentin Blake and the other guest artist were drawing infront of a large crowd. This picture show Quentin making illustration look effortless
The finished illustration 
 Following on from Quentin was Marf, after illustrating a family in the crowd, Marf allowed the children to help her finish the picture - as you can see the children eagerly took on the challenge

Nadia Shireen created this stunning illustration using Stabilo Woody Pencils, showing how a few simple lines can become something quite amazing
Nadia's finished illustration 
The incredible team work of Stephanie von Reiswitz painted illustration. I loved watching this piece evolve across the paper 
 And last but by no means east Adam Dant, who used markers to draw this charming newspaper boy and then......
Let the children fill in the newspaper with their own images, thoughts and text. It was quite interesting to see what news stories were relevant to the children and young people attending the event. We had everything fromstopping killing whales to Justin Bieber!!!

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