Whether you’ve been shown in galleries or you’ve never sketched in your life, there is a something for everyone at Big Draw Vancouver. The festival has been known as the Vancouver Draw Down since its inception in 2009 and now, with this year’s new partnership with the International Big Draw, the one-day event will proceed under the BD moniker.
The seventh annual festival, which runs this year on October 1, offers more than 40 interactive drawing workshops at a wide range of locations all across the city. The workshops—which are completely free—are both designed and run by professional artists, generating a totally inclusive environment for all ages and skill levels that squashes any fears surrounding artistic expression and celebrates the pure creative pleasure drawing can provide.
Find full listings and locations here, but in the meantime, here are six workshops that are worth checking out.
Walking, Looking, Drawing: Micro Macro Perspectives with the Urban Animal Agency
The Urban Animal Agency hosts this fieldwalk of the Second Beach shoreline, where participants observe and carefully collect intertidal beings (those that inhabit both the aquatic and the terrestrial). After examining the findings closely under a microscope, discoveries are to be drawn out and then scaled together to form a giant collaborative scroll.
When: 1 to 4 pm
Where: Stanley Park A Frame Studio, Ceperly Meadow (Second Beach)
For this workshop, sound is the source of artistic inspiration. Explore Hadden Park and draw what you hear to create a graphic zine. Your work will then be added to a collaborative Sidewalk Sound Portrait of the park. The workshop is led by publik secrets, a collective of musicians and visual artists headed by George Rahi and Robyn Jacob.
When: Noon to 4 pm
Where: Hadden Park Fieldhouse at Hadden Park – 1015 Maple Street, Vancouver
Create Your Own Universe
Local painter, sculptor, and interior designer Viola Choy runs this workshop where participants get to form their very own universe. First, you’ll create planets, stars, and celestial bodies using a range of drawing materials. Then, you’ll be blindfolded as you pin your work up on the Ultimate Universe Wall.
When: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
Where: Coal Harbour Community Centre - 480 Broughton Street, Vancouver
Life Drawing with Dancers
With costumed Arts Umbrella dancers performing as models, participants of this workshop will get to explore the art of movement through life drawing.
When: Noon to 4 pm
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre Lobby Area - 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Big Dreams, Big Draw
Two workshops in one, hosted by Montreal-born artist Michael Edward Nardachioni. In one, you’ll work with pencil, pencil crayons, and markers to contribute to a community art project called In Case Of Dreams. The second workshop will have you sketching up chalk murals on the pavement and posing for portraits in the park.
When: 1 to 3 pm
Where: Oppenheimer Park - 488 Powell Street, Vancouver
The Red Paint Drawing Club
Participants of this workshop will face off against portraitist Mr. Fire-Man one by one, using only red paint and brushes. The works will then be hung up in anticipation of a second class, The Black Paint Drawing Club, and then finally a third class, The White Paint Drawing Club, where this particular method of portraiture is completed.
When: 1 to 5 pm
Where: McLean Fieldhouse - 710 Keefer Street, Vancouver