The Big Draw 2015 sketches through Guildford - and Woking

PUBLISHED: 09:51 14 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:28 14 October 2015

This beautiful illustration was done specially for Surrey Life by artist Paul Kercal, who is hosting a workshop at The Electric Theatre (see details right)

This beautiful illustration was done specially for Surrey Life by artist Paul Kercal, who is hosting a workshop at The Electric Theatre (see details right)


Billed as the world’s biggest drawing festival, The Big Draw sees artists around the country hosting free workshops in everything from comic art and charcoals to cut-outs. In Guildford, they take things seriously, and these are just a few of this year’s highlights...

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine October 2015


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Sunday October 4, 1pm to 5pm

Create your own comic

There will be plenty of comic-strip inspiration and materials at hand to get the creative juices flowing. Abstract screen-printing will provide the templates to begin your story; be it a graphic novel in the making, or a single frame, let your imagination (and assorted pens) run wild for the afternoon.

• The Boileroom, 13 Stokefields, Guildford GU1 4LS:


Saturday October 17, 10am to 2pm

Art from words

Join artist Claire Harrison and choose your inspiration from the selection of text provided. Using a variety of materials, from charcoal to ink and watercolour, depict the words in any way you like – literally or abstract.

• Guildford Institute, Ward Street, Guildford GU1 4LH:


Saturday October 17, 10am to 2pm

Getting hat-tastic

Artist Chloë Haywood of Hatastic has devised a fabulous workshop perfect for all ages, where you can recreate your yarn into a hat. Be it a story you’ve read or experienced, 
an emotion or emoticon - whichever way you want to present it, Hatastic will give you the tools to make your story come alive.

• Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Mill Studio, High Street, Guildford, GU1 3UX:


Saturday October 17, 11am to 5pm

Relive victoriana

Be a Victorian artist’s apprentice at Watts Gallery – Artist’s Village. Meet ‘GF Watts’ and have fun trying traditional drawing techniques using charcoal, chalk, silverpoint and pencil. Then head to the Pottery Studios 
to meet ‘Mary Watts’ and help her to design and make terracotta birds to fill the woodlands. Be sure to follow 
the Drawing Geocaching Treasure Trail too.

• Watts Gallery, Down Lane, Compton GU3 1DQ:


Sunday October 18, 12noon to 5pm

Head for the streets

Join artist Sarah Hesketh in a fun introductory session into the world of street art for all the family. Work independently or together as a group to develop your own urban-style lettering, colour schemes and patterns using paint pens onto boards, which you can then take home and keep.

• Firefly @ The Keystone, 3 Portsmouth Road, Guildford GU2 4BL:


Tuesday October 27, 10am to 2pm drop-in

Stories with friends

Working with a team of talented artists led by Paul Kercal, help create a collaborative giant storybook (or a mini- book of your own to take home - you choose!) featuring the return of the much-loved Dragon & The Princess. Expect brilliant stories, fun for all the family and lots of shrinky plastic.

• The Electric Theatre, Onslow Street, Guildford 
GU1 4SZ:


Wednesday October 28, 11am to 1pm and 1.30pm to 3pm

At the puppet theatre

Mix pop-up paper-craft with illustration and create your own miniature storybook theatre with artist Stacey Allan. Once decorated with scenes from your favourite story, the pages of your handmade book will fold into a puppet theatre - and you can make a cast of cut-out paper puppets to star in your mini theatre adventures too.

• Guildford House Gallery, 155 High Street, Guildford GU1 3AJ:


Thursday October 29, 3pm to 5pm and 
7pm to 9pm

Spinning a yarn

In the first of two sessions, join textile artist Debi Retallick and use different threads creatively to make a series of images to ‘spin-your-own yarn’. In the second, try needle felting with Debi, as she guides you through this unconventional approach to drawing.

• Stoughton Craft Club, Stoughton Methodist Church, Guildford GU2 9PT:

• For more information on the events taking place in Guildford for The Big Draw, see online at



And over in Woking...

Throughout half-term (Tuesday October 27 to Friday October 30), The Lightbox and WWF-UK are linking up to take part in The Big Draw too and need budding artist explorers to help. Through drawing, you’ll create your own story and uncover what happens when a polar bear meets a Big Friendly Giant! Drop in any time from 9am to 5pm

• The Living Planet Centre, Rufford House, Brewery Road, Woking GU21 4LL:. See more information by visiting the WWF-UK website at

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