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The Big Draw – October 2024

The Big Draw, held every year between October 1 to 31, is the world’s largest drawing festival. It was created to promote visual literacy and art education. To get involved, participants are encouraged to register with the official website. This will enable them to sign up for a free event pack containing everything they need to take part in the various activities held across the country at venues such as galleries, libraries, and museums. Participants are also required to upload their artwork on their official profile page. If you’re new to this campaign and want to support it, then consider joining The Big Draw today!

History of The Big Draw

Visual literacy is the ability to read, write, and communicate using images rather than words. It also assists us in comprehending, interpreting, and analyzing what we see with our two eyes all the time. The Campaign for Drawing in the U.K. founded The Big Draw in 2000. Its goal was to promote visual literacy in people of all ages by using drawing as a tool for thought, creativity, and social and cultural engagement. It has grown into a global community-led movement involving people from over 25 countries who are passionate about drawing since its inception.

The festival first took place in London in 2001, with only one event taking place on a single day. Two events were held over four days in 2002, and it has since grown exponentially each year, with hundreds of events held across the U.K. as well as internationally. Since then, the festival has grown to include a diverse range of activities such as workshops, classes, and exhibitions.

The Big Draw has reached over two million people worldwide with its events and activities over the last seven years. This year, thousands of artists from all over the world will take part in this event. This holiday allows us to realize our passions for drawing and express our thoughts and emotions through visual art. Similarly, it helps us develop our visual skills. The best thing about this holiday is that it is not only for highly-skilled artists, but ordinary people can also join in and have fun.

The Big Draw timeline

1448 to 1491
The Early Days

Drawing emerges as an art-from with artists and renowned engravers such as Albrecht Dürer and Martin Schongauer making a name for themselves.

The Big Draw is Founded

It is set up to promote visual literacy in all ages through drawing as an essential tool for thought, creativity, and social and cultural engagement.

The First Festival

The first Big Draw festival is held in London with only one event being held over one day.

The Festival Gains Popularity

Two events are held over four days, and it has grown exponentially each year, with hundreds of events held across the U.K. and internationally.

The Big Draw FAQs

What are the earliest drawings?

Some of the earliest drawings were found on cave walls in France and Spain. Other examples can be seen in the designs that primitive people carved or painted onto tools.

What is the oldest drawing?

The earliest human drawing ever found, drawn using a red ochre crayon, was discovered in a cave in South Africa.

Why was drawing created?

It was made to serve as a specialized form of communication before the invention of writing.

The Big Draw Activities

  1. Attend an event

    Attending a pre-organized event is the simplest way to get involved. Check out The Big Draw website for a calendar of events organized by location.

  2. Participate in the exhibition

    The exhibition challenges visitors to create drawings without the use of written or spoken words. The only requirement is to explain one’s drawing aloud after finishing it.

  3. Organize a workshop

    It's simple to plan your own drawing activity with friends, family, or members of your local community. If you have any drawing supplies, you can set up a table and invite people to come to draw for an hour.

5 Surprising Facts About Paint

  1. Earliest oil painting

    The earliest known oil paintings were Buddhist murals found in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan caves — they date back to the 7th Century A.D.

  2. Paint dries quickest at 70 degrees

    Paint will spread more smoothly and absorb faster at these temperatures than in the chilly cold or sweltering heat.

  3. The most expensive color

    The most expensive paint color was ultramarine, as it was made from ‘Lapis Lazuli’ which you might find in an ancient illuminated manuscript.

  4. The spray paint invention

    Davies Millet is credited with the invention of spray paint while working under tight deadlines to complete construction for the Chicago World’s Fair.

  5. Restoration of Sistine Chapel

    It took Michelangelo only four years to paint the famous ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the 1500s, but it took 20 years to restore it in the late 1900s.

Why We Love The Big Draw

  1. It’s a great time to learn history

    The Big Draw is a fantastic way for children and adults to create art while also learning about its history. Every year, over 1,500 museums and galleries from across England participate in this event.

  2. It allows us to create a legacy

    It allows us to create a legacy of drawings by individuals, families, communities, and schools from all around the world. We can keep the art alive by preserving our drawings and passing them down to future generations.

  3. It brings people together

    The activities of Big Draw bring people together. From creative organizations, communities, businesses, schools, and artists from different disciplines, everyone comes with a common goal.

The Big Draw dates

2024October 1Tuesday
2025October 1Wednesday
2026October 1Thursday
2027October 1Friday
2028October 1Sunday
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The Big Draw
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