Free Art Classes at the National Galleries of Scotland

Written by Karen Bryan

The National Galleries of Scotland run free drop-in easel sketching sessions on a couple of days, usually Thursday and Fridays, most months. You don’t need any experience to attend.

It’s a two hour session between 2 – 4pm. The venue alternates between the National Gallery and the Portrait Gallery, both located in the city centre.

On day I which attended, the venue was the National Gallery. I felt a bit apprehensive about going to the session, as although I have done some art at home, it’s been on a more abstract theme, as I’m not that keen on (or good at) replicating reality.

The materials required, paper, easel and charcoal were supplied. There was a live model at the session which I attended.  The session leader, artist Damian Callan, started off by doing a demonstration. It made it look very easy and within around two minutes had created a pretty accurate depiction of the model.

Once I got going on the sketching I was OK. It was slightly unnerving having an audience, as visitors to the gallery gathered around to watch and to take photos, But I did enjoy the easel sketching at the National Gallery. The atmosphere was relaxed, the other participants were friendly and the tutor was very helpful.

If you’d like to try your hand doing some art, without the expense of buying any materials,  I recommend that have a look to see if there any free art sessions available in your locality.