Art Therapy


In conjunction with The Gallery Trust, David Elliott (art therapist & artist) presents

One Drawing Challenge

Click here to see this week challenge

Each week David will send out a simple drawing challenge for staff and students to do at home. Everyone completes the weekly challenge using whatever materials you have to hand – biro pen, pencil, paint brush, a stick from the garden or even your finger. You can use inks, felt pens, a finger dipped in coffee, digital drawing media and mobile apps, cut-out paper collage, anything. You can draw on the reverse side of a cereal packet, old newspaper, lined notebook, sketchbook, brown-paper or fine water-colour paper.Drawings can be a simple line drawing, a cartoon style, lose sketches, stylised like manga, or detailed drawing/painting; nothing is too humble to use, too humble to draw and every style, method or piece of work is worthwhile. If you’re really stuck have a look at the amazing website from Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene: www.sketchbookskool (yes, ‘skool’ with a ‘K’ – it’s part-based in Amsterdam).

One Drawing Challenge

For those who want to, there’s an extended element to the challenge to do each day, from Monday to Friday – with a break over the weekends.

When we return to school, everyone brings their drawings & sketches into school, (at least ONE per person, but the more the better) – each class /work area creates a display of the work in their classroom/ work area. We aim to have at least ONE drawing/sketch from EVERY student & staff member.

In the Summer, we hold an exhibition at school:The Gallery Trust Summer Exhibition 2020 (like the Royal Academy of Arts in London). No prizes, no first, second, third – everyone is included – EVERY PERSON (staff & students) submits ONE piece.


Drawing is a very grounding and mindful process – holds you in the present moment, slows down thinking and heart-rate encouraging emotional regulation.

A weekly drawing challenge provides a shared experience when the school community is apart; it creates a personal, hand-made record of a moment in time. Through sharing our work afterwards it helps us build stories to make sense of experience and share those narratives with each other. And share when it doesn’t make sense as well!

The process of art making means that people remember when they made the drawings, prompting spontaneous conversations.

Displays can be used in class to share stories in a managed/contained way; it can be a positive way for students & staff to record/think/talk about the experience and recognize at least one positive outcome – all the artwork made and stories shared.


For each challenge you can decide what you’re going to use to draw with – pencil, biro pen, felt tip etc and what to draw on – scrap paper, a sketchbook, some scrap cardboard.

You might do all the drawings using the same materials or colours, or choose different materials and colours for each drawing – it’s up to you.

Get your art materials together and ask people politely not to interrupt you while you’re drawing, to help you concentrate.

Find somewhere comfortable to sit or stand if you prefer, and allow yourself at least 15 minutes or much, much longer if you want.

Now you’re almost ready. Before you begin to draw – relax, take three deep, slow breaths in and out. Relax your shoulders and neck muscles. Then spend a moment just looking carefully at what you’re going to draw – don’t draw it yet, just look: notice areas of light and shadow, notice textures if you can see them, look at the shapes of the spaces around the outside of what you’re going to draw (called ‘negative space’).

And now you’re ready… sketch away… if you’re not happy with what you’ve drawn, you can always draw another one, but keep it until the end of all the challenges and decide then which ones to share.