Alumni Opportunities

Many of our alumni work as practising artists who regularly show and sell work or undertake commissions and have gallery representation. Students have also gone on to professional practice in areas including illustration, animation, architecture, film and theatre design, textile design, book illustration and writing; whilst others pursue further education.

Past students have won high-profile awards including the John Moores Painting Prize, BP Portrait Award prizes, Jerwood Drawing Prize, Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, ING Discerning Eye Drawing Bursary, Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, Bulldog Bursary, Rabley Sketch Award, Marmite Prize for Painting, Lynn Painter-Stainer Prize, Mark Tanner Sculpture Award, The Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture, Sky Portrait Artists of the Year, Roald Dahl Funny Prize and Great Women Artists x Palazzo Monti Residency.  

Our alumni have been selected for prestigious exhibitions such as Tate’s ‘Painting Now’ and Flowers Gallery Artist of the Day, and have frequently exhibited in the Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Whitechapel Open, Royal Academy Summer Show, Threadneedle Prize, Frieze, the Wellcome Collection, the Royal Collection, the National Portrait Gallery, and The British Council.  

Alumni network

The School has a vibrant network of alumni who frequently collaborate on projects and exhibitions. We keep in touch regularly via our dedicated Alumni Manager with news of residencies, competitions, exhibitions and paid opportunities.

International Residencies

There are many opportunities for alumni to travel and to participate in Royal Drawing School funded national and international residencies, here is a selection: 

Dumfries House, Ayrshire, Scotland; fully-funded residencies for students from the Royal Drawing School with use of the artist studios and accommodation on the estate. 

The Hafod Estate, Aberystwyth, Wales; a unique opportunity for artists who are interested in working in a rural location, drawing inspiration from the landscape and the natural surroundings of the Welsh countryside. 

The Moritz-Heyman Residency at Borgo Pignano in Tuscany; is open exclusively to Royal Drawing School alumni and tutors offering fully funded residencies on the Borgo Pignano estate. 

Monet’s Garden, Giverny, France; the residency sees one student work from the home and gardens of the painter Claude Monet, supported by The Versailles-Giverny Foundation. 

IIFA Residency, India, a three-month long teaching residency for four Drawing Year alumni. During the three months the resident teachers will collectively teach IIFA’s Foundation Students and Painting Students alongside IIFA teaching staff. Artists are also given the opportunity for independent travel at the end of the residency. 

Find out more about the School's International Residencies Programme here


Tutor training

After graduating, students can apply to the Tutor Training Programme on the School’s Young Artist Programme for 10–18 year olds. These drawing courses run in London, Oxford, Norwich and New Cumnock, offering financial support and professional development to alumni as they continue to cultivate their practice. 

Paid commissions

We regularly offer our alumni the chance to undertake paid commissions. Recent projects have included producing work for Hauser & Wirth and the Peninsula Hotel, London. 

Alumni exhibitions

The Royal Drawing School runs a yearly exhibitions programme in it's gallery in Shoreditch, offering Drawing Year alumni the opportunity to showcase new work.

Discounted and free courses

All alumni receive a discount of 50% on all courses at the Royal Drawing School to enable them to continue their observational drawing practice and each term a selection of free course places are offered to alumni. We also run free drawing classes designed specifically for alumni as well as offering free admission to the Wednesday evening Lecture Series.

Anna Ilsley

Drawing has now become a daily activity. The versatility and unpredictability of drawing in its different forms continues to lead my studio practice in ways I could not have foreseen. Tom Sander, Alumnus Drawing Year 2011