A friend once told us that when she was young, she learned to draw from Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book: Make a World. We recently checked it out, and loved how Emberley breaks down a drawing: using simple shapes as building blocks, you create objects and faces one piece at a time. Even those of us who aren’t artistically inclined can follow along.

Gradually, you begin to naturally “envision” images as a combination of shapes – triangles, squares, rounds…And of course, once you get the knack of it you can easily improvise! Emberley has books specifically for animals, trucks, and “weirdos,”(among others) any of which would make great gifts for a kid (or adult) –especially one who might be frustrated by free-form drawing.

Related posts: Drawing on furniture (like saul steinberg)
six children’s books to give as gifts
‘they draw and cook’, the visual recipe site
drawing on the wall (cave of forgotten dreams)
embracing the blank canvas

If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

7 replies on “ed emberley’s drawing book: make a world

  1. I remember these books as a kid, too!
    I loved that my school library had them and I would try to borrow them for the entire school year without my mom or teacher finding out I still had them.
    This post makes me happy!

  2. Ed Emberley’s books were so great. Cloud9Fabrics has just come out with a fabric line featuring his drawings http://www.cloud9fabrics.com/happydrawing.html which are pretty darn great too. My local fabric store doesn’t carry it but I am willing to make a pilgrimage to buy a few yards of these memory filled fabrics.

  3. I also had this book and have passed it on to my son, an artist in the making. There are several of these books and they are all inspiring.

  4. Thanks for much for letting us know about Cloud9Fabrics. What a wonderful idea: making fabrics from his clever designs.

  5. In my opinion, the best books Ed Emberley did were the ones where you use your fingerprint as the basis for the drawings. No implement needed if you have your fingers and some paint! Improvisation indeed!

  6. Excellent book! When I was a child this helped teach me to draw :3

  7. I love this and i a horrible drawer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *