Artist Claire O’Connor and exhibiting artist Derick Smith at Derick’s talk in Luan Gallery, Athlone, recently. Derick will host events to mark National Drawing Day.

National Drawing Day to be marked at Luan Gallery

People from across the region are invited to grab a pencil and paper on Saturday, May 21 to join with Luan Gallery and the National Gallery of Ireland in National Drawing Day. Now in its eighteenth year, the annual event will see the gallery joined by over 70 arts centres, galleries, museums and libraries across the country to celebrate drawing.

For National Drawing Day, the National Gallery of Ireland is collaborating with 74 venues and arts groups in 23 counties, including: Luan Gallery, Athlone, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny; Solstice Arts Centre, Navan; City Museum; glór, Ennis; Lismore Castle House; and Riverbank Arts Centre, Kildare.

Luan Gallery is hosting two drawing workshops with exhibiting artist Derick Smith. He will deliver a workshop for students and one for adults to demonstrate the various properties of paint in a playful and explorative way. He will also guide students on how to achieve certain creative effects including building up texture and thinking sculpturally and how to document the research. These workshops are supported by Creative Ireland and Westmeath County Council. They represent an opportunity to introduce Smith’s exclusive series of mixed media works - currently on exhibition at Luan Gallery, The Soul of Matter until June 19 - which demonstrates the artists’ careful attention to materials.

Explore non-traditional mark making techniques using acrylic paint: Derick will illustrate and carry out practical demonstrations using acrylic paint in non-traditional ways. He will use well known contemporary artists as an example and demonstrate how they created their works using existing and custom-made tools. Participants will be encouraged to try these techniques for themselves.

The workshops are available to artists and non-artists alike. The student workshop (teenagers, young adults) will take place in Abbey Road Artists' Studios Community Space on Saturday, May 21, at 10.30am until 12pm and the adult workshop will take place in Luan Gallery from 2pm to 3.30pm. Participation is free but booking in advance by email to is essential as places are limited. Workshops are kindly supported by Creative Ireland and Westmeath County Council.

At the National Gallery of Ireland, visitors can enjoy a packed day of events, including ‘A Wonderful World of Illustration Seminar’ as part of International Literature Festival Dublin. A dynamic panel of three celebrated artists and illustrators – author and picture book writer Olivia Hope, illustrator and storyteller Ashwin Chacko, and picture book illustrators and artists Shona Shirley Macdonald and Lauren O’Hara – discuss the creative possibilities of drawing and illustration. Artist Eileen O’Sullivan leads a free sensory-friendly drawing workshop, suitable for children of all ages. In the gallery’s Shaw Room, artist Fintan Mahon will lead a free life-drawing session for adults. And the gallery's collection and architecture can be explored on a free sketching tour. No artistic ability required, just a willingness to get creative!

People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to find the joy in drawing on May 21 with something for everyone, experts and beginners alike.