How do you draw a gruffalo? A gruffalo? What’s a gruffalo? “A gruffalo! Why, didn’t you know? He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws.” And the video above captures how Axel Scheffler draws one.
The British Library filmed Scheffler’s sketchbooks. Get a peek at the Evolution of the Gruffalo and how picture books are made:
Plus, some prompts from BL.uk: Invent your own talking animal.
Does your creature live in a forest, in a jungle, on a moor or in a zoo? Perhaps it has a job. Does it work in a school, a supermarket, an old grey office or a library? Maybe it plays music in an orchestra or writes stories for children.
If your creature came to your house what would you do? Would you offer it something to eat? Would you play a game together, such as hide and seek or Monopoly? Would you read it a story or play some music? What would you and the creature talk about?
How does your creature make you feel? Is your creature terrifying, fascinating, revolting, boring or adorable? Perhaps it’s a mixture of all these things.
Does your creature have special powers? Can it see into the future or read people’s minds? Is it a book worm, an extraordinary poet or a brilliant chef?
The Gruffalo has purple prickles, a poisonous wart and knobbly knees. What kind of body does your creature have? How does its skin feel when you touch it? Does its physical characteristics reflect its personality?
And what are Axel Scheffler’s top tips for budding artists? Create characters, sketch book pages, be curious, enjoy the work of other illustrators, and draw a lot. Try everything! Watch:
Then watch these drawing videos next:
• How to draw Tigger and Winnie the Pooh
• French illustrator Alain Grée drawing
• Watch Chuck Jones draw Bugs Bunny
• Marion Deuchars’ Let’s Make some Great Fingerprint Art
• Kasey Golden’s seven watercolor tips for beginners