The Big Draw drew in the crowds!

Yes, it is a cliché but the Chislehurst Big Draw really did draw in the crowds with yet another beautiful Autumn day, making it the perfect day out for all the family.

The common up by the Crown saw almost 1,600 people enjoy the many creative opportunities organised by over 170 volunteers who donated well over 850 hours to make the event an amazing success.


On arrival at the event, we registered the family and received our goody bag, our lanyard and four pencils to help us get crafty.

There were over 25 activities to try your hand at and everyone was encouraged to take part, whether you be 5 or 75!!? Whilst most participants we spied were mostly of the younger variety, we did witness a few grown-ups trying their hand at still life or being inspired by Turner’s “Fighting Temeraire”.

This year’s theme was “Every Picture Tells a Story” and each activity throughout the Draw was inspired by a well-known masterpiece, artist or sculptor.  Whilst the theme may have been lost on our 4 year old, we couldn’t help but be impressed by the sheer genius of the organisers. You realise that so much thought has gone into this event and I wish I could be this creative.

My son is busy making stick men out of pipe cleaners and he is none the wiser of the link to Giacometti. He loves his stick man sculpture and busily moves onto the next activity to create an amazing Jackson Pollack. There is an initial hesitancy from my little ones, checking with Mummy that it is okay to really splatter paint here there and everywhere. I nod. The boys go wild!! It is so much fun to see children engage in this way and break free artistically. My kids simply don’t get this freedom to fling paint around at home and it is great to see them throwing themselves into it with such gusto!

There is so much for all the kids to do; from making an angel card, sketching a still life, creating edible art and even creating a graffiti t-shirt. All inspired by amazing artists across the centuries including Constable, Diptych, Stubbs, Peter Blake, Mondrian, Cezanne, Uccello and Banksy to name just a few.

My boys love it all but one of their favourites was creating a lantern, inspired by Sargent’s “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose”.

The event was made complete by a Tea Tent, Candy Floss & Ice Cream Kiosk, music in the Cockpit and a BBQ provided by Higgs the Butchers. What’s not to like?


A big thank you must go to Donna Bompas and her committee who organise this event for Chislehurst. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude for creating such a charming, well organised, creative event. This is the twelfth event and it shows. This is an event that has been perfected over time and our 2 boys have talked of nothing else since.

All profits from the Big Draw go directly to the Trustees of the Commons to help them maintain the Commons and since they have started these events, they have raised in excess of £20,000.


The Chislehurst Draw is part of the Campaign for Drawing event that takes place in over 1300 venues across the UK and around the world in the month of September.

Organised by the Chislehurst Big Draw Committee and hosted by the Trustees of the Commons.  The event is also sponsored by jdm Estate Agents and The Chislehurst Society.

Written by Tamsyn Clark

Photographs by Mark Grover