Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants is a wonderfully bright, colourful and interactive exhibition at the River & Rowing Museum exploring the life and work of illustrator Nick Sharratt, the man behind the instantly recognisable illustrations for Jacqueline Wilson’s Tracy Beaker books.
Nick himself was at the museum on Saturday and led two sold-out family workshops which included reading extracts from his books and teaching children (and adults!) how to draw different characters, including Tracey Beaker. He also showed how to easily draw different expressions on faces and how adding simple details to objects such as trees and grass makes all the difference!
After showing how to draw Timothy’s Dad, Mr Pope from Shark in the Park, Nick challenged everyone to design him a new shirt to give him ideas for his new book!
Nick has illustrated all aged children’s books from baby board books to novels for teenagers with many including his favourite Scottie dog and underpants. Nick joked “It’s amazing how many books I’ve been asked to draw underpants for,” before then showing the families how he has sneaked the Scottie dog into different books.
Penny White, aged 8 from Henley who was attending with her Dad and little sister, Lois said, “My favourite drawing was the dog.”
Afterwards Nick said, “I thoroughly enjoyed my busy day at the River & Rowing Museum. It was terrific to visit my ‘Pirates, Pants and Wellyphants’ exhibition, which was looking wonderful in its surroundings, and I was delighted to witness it being enjoyed by so many children and adults. The exhibition is very interactive; I am always keen to encourage drawing and creative thinking, so it was great to be there also to run two family drawing workshops. I have to say I was really impressed by the fabulous artwork produced by everyone attending, from the four year-olds to the grandparents! It’s brilliant that the museum runs its own weekly art club and I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with the club’s talented young artists too.”
This humorous exhibition, explores Nick’s enthusiasm for drawing, from childhood doodles to his current status as an internationally renowned illustrator and author.
Visitors to the exhibition can explore a recreation of Nick’s studio and have a go at tracing a selection of his characters using a light box. An interactive touch screen enables you to create your own digital ‘Sharracter’ and you can even design your own pants and hang them on a washing line!
The exhibition runs until the 16 September at The River and Rowing Museum.