Two Aberdeenshire pupils have been selected from more than 7000 entrants to score the top places in the John Byrne National Drawing Competition.

The winner was Ailsa Lipp (P4) who 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.

Second place went to Jack Esslemont, a P5/6 pupil at Aboyne Primary School.

Ailsa and Jack were presented with their awards by renowned artist and playwright John Byrne at a ceremony at Paisley’s Tannahill Centre, where a special exhibition of competition entries is on display until April 15.

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.”

Chair of Education and Children's Services for Aberdeenshire Council, Cllr Gillian Owen commented: "Congratulations to Ailsa and Jack for being recognised in this prestigious national competition. It's another example of the brilliant wealth of talent we have in Aberdeenshire we're so proud of. Thanks too to the schools and support networks who are helping our youngsters flourish across a wide range of subjects."

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