Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered

If you’re pondering what to buy someone you love this Christmas, I can recommend Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered by Quentin Blake.

It’s bloody brilliant.

Described as “a sketchbook with training wheels”, it’s perfect for little kids and big kids who long to draw but are too scared and/or don’t know where to begin (that would be me then)!

What’s genius about it is that Quentin starts a drawing for you – maybe a leg or a plant pot – and you finish it off. But it’s never any old leg or plant pot. With titles like ‘The large Hairy Gloob’ and ‘The Greater Spiked Glunk Falls in Love’, your imagination can’t help but soar.

I love the fact that the book comes with its own pen and colouring pencils, plus there are no rubbers or erasers to be seen. You are forced to put pen to paper and see what comes out:

“We favour the Gung-Ho approach to art. When you’re being tempted by a blank piece of paper, arm yourself with a drawing tool, think about what you’re going to draw, take another moment to think about what the “essential” of it is – and then just toss that ball up (artistically speaking) and give it a good swat across the net.”

Ever since I have taken up ‘artistically swatting’ in this way, I have been having a whale of a time.

For example, if you’ve ever stayed awake at night wondering what a Floppaterasis looks like, fret no more. It looks like this:

(Mini beast by Quentin Blake. Big beast by me.)

Ever panicked about where to store your giraffes? No worries, I have it covered. This is a bespoke giraffe barn, complete with seven chimneys (giraffes have notoriously bad circulation due to their long legs, so they need lots of log fires to keep them warm and cosy in there):

Illustration: giraffe barn
(Small barn and giraffe by Quentin Blake. Big barn by me.)

You might want to check your back garden for this next one. This is my portrait of the Rare but Deadly Flowering Chomp-Chomp Tree (more of a cactus to be fair and minus the flowers because I got so carried away with creating my portrait, I forgot):

Illustration: Chomp-Chomp Tree
(People and plant pot by Quentin Blake. Plant by me.)

And finally, my newest scatter-brained friend, the unforgettable 3-Headed, Red-Spotted Gorffe:

Illustration: Red-Spotted Gorffe
(Legs and body by Quentin Blake. Necks and heads by me.)


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