Roots {Artist Study}

Roots Artist Study

Becca receives one art box a month from Scrawlr Box as part of last Christmas’ presents. We work through them together periodically, although usually Becs does them on her own. This time was a ‘work through it together’ box. I’m actually quite jealous of her Scrawlr boxes, so any chance to get in on the fun and I’ll take it! And this month’s artist study, ‘Roots’ was a great one to sit in on!

Roots Artist Study

Each box contains a sweetie, a sticker, an artist study, an interview with the artist, an A5 example of the artist’s work and all the art supplies required to create a similar piece of art with instructions on how to use the supplies. Regardless of whether I join in with the actual creating, I always read the Scrawlr zine outlaid to Becca, mainly because I love learning about new artists and ‘Roots’ was a particularly interesting artist to study.

Roots Artist Study

Who is Roots?

Roots is a freelance illustrator from Birmingham, who is inspired by the 1990’s pop culture and character art. Having spent most of her childhood drawing cartoon characters obsessively, she now enjoys drawing rabbits and pigeons (!). Her advice to aspiring artists? To practice, practice, practice. She extols the benefits of always carrying a sketch book in which to draw. Also she recommends looking back over past sketch books to shows how far you have progressed over time.


When we do an artist study, I always have the children choose their own picture study from the artist’s work. With Scriblr, they include an A5 print, so this is what we use. This week it was a cute dragon:

I would love it if they included some description about the art piece they choose. It’s a shame, because everything else about these boxes is perfect! The rest of the supplies are everything needed to recreate the sample, in this case, the following:

  • Karin Pigment DecoBrush Markers in brown, red, orange and yellow
  • Sakura Pigma Micron 12, Black
  • PaintOn Lisse Pad, 250gm
  • Faber-Castell 9000 Graphite Pencil, H

Recreating Roots’ Art

Becca decided to copy it freehand.

Roots Artist Study

As I was sitting opposite her, I thought I’d try my hand at upside-down drawing. I’m always stunned by how this actually works. Somehow, instead of trying to draw the whole picture, drawing upside-down uses the right side of your brain. This means you draw without really knowing what you are drawing. The brain copies the lines instead of the whole outline. The magic then happens as all the lines eventually join up together to create the whole drawing. Seriously, you should try it, you will be astounded by the results!

Roots Artist Study

After drawing with the pencil, we went over the outlines with the black pen, which immediately makes it pop, and then began to fill in the colours using the paint markers. These were so cool! I have got to get myself some!!

The Result

Roots Artist Study

We were both pleased with our results, although for different reasons. Becca’s was full of character and personality. She did such a good job, recreating the dragon freehand.

Roots Artist Study

Mine was a good copy, but had nothing of myself in it. The upside-down drawing element had created an almost exact replica. However, I LOVED using the pens and how smooth they were.

Roots Artist Study

But I have to admit, I liked Becca’s the best because it was unique, and her dragon was full of cute personality.

Becca was born to create!


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