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Competition draws out Scotland’s next top artists

​An eight-year-old pupil from one of Aberdeenshire’s smallest schools has been selected from more than 7000 entrants as the winner of the John Byrne National Drawing Competition.

Ailsa Lipp (P4) attends the nine-pupil Largue Primary School where children learn in the same classroom and are taught once a week by a visiting art specialist.

Using the theme ‘Scotland’s place in the industrial world’, Ailsa drew a self-portrait featuring a background reflecting shipbuilding on the Clyde.


The 2019 winning drawing by Ailsa Lipp, a P4 pupil from Largue Primary School.​

Renowned artist and playwright John Byrne today (27 March 2019) presented 33 awards to the top scoring young artists at a ceremony at Paisley’s Tannahill Centre, where a special exhibition of competition entries is on display for the next six weeks.

John Byrne said: “This year we judged more than 7000 entries and the level of talent and imagination was outstanding.

“For someone so young, the amazing level of detail and skill shown in Ailsa’s drawing was what made her work stand out from a very strong field.

“I’m encouraged by the standard of all the artwork submitted and I hope pupils across Scotland will continue to show us their artistic skills and love for drawing.”

The competition is run in partnership with Education Scotland and open to pupils across Scotland from P4 to S3.

Alan Armstrong, Strategic Director for Education Scotland said: “Art and design are important parts of the Scottish curriculum.

“For years, this competition has encouraged many thousands of children to use their artistic talents to create inspiring and unique drawings.

“Education Scotland is proud to support the competition and its ethos of keeping the art of drawing alive.”

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