Malika Kingston got her pencil at the ready to find out how to draw a dragon from those in the know.
Dragonsitting is like babysitting with a few ‘minor’ differences. To start with it’s a bit more dangerous, chances are smoke will be involved and you’ll definitely have to clear up poop, lots and lots of poop.
Fortunately, none of the above dampened the enthusiasm of the children attending the lively talk and drawing workshop held by author of The Dragonsitter series Josh Lacey, and his illustrator Garry Parsons.
The talk began with Josh Lacey picking up one of his books to read. Simultaneously, Garry started drawing. In a matter of pen stokes his first dragon took shape. A bird that was peeking through the window made it onto the page and so too did dragon poop. In fact, whenever Josh Lacey mentioned the word poop Garry put more on the page, which led to lots of smiles and laughter from the children in the crowd.
Just like human characters, dragons have their fair share of personality. Josh asked the children at the event to describe a facial feature of a dragon and Garry drew it. First up they asked for a dragon with a long, ugly, nose with glasses sat on the end of it. Next came a dragon with wiry whiskers and grey scales surrounded by puffs of smoke where fire should have been. And finally, the children asked Garry to draw an old retired dragon which they beautifully named, Granny Smoke Breath.
It seemed there was no end to Garry’s artistic talents. Or was there? Josh challenged the children to think of something hard for Garry to draw and a boy in the front row brilliantly met the challenge. “Draw someone you don’t know,” he shouted. Garry was stumped, so as consolation for the crowd he drew Josh sitting on a giant donkey, on a camel, on top of the world.
The author/illustrator duo made the whole event fun. Garry ended the talk with some advice for the children attending who love to draw. It was simply this – enjoy it and do lots more of it. After all there are no special tools required. All you need says Garry is “a pencil and your imagination”.