Marshmallow € Clare Turlay Newberry, author
A baby rabbit named Marshmallow and an apartment cat named Oliver become
close friends. Both the artwork and the story are gentle and charming.
People often ask me where I get my ideas for books. To tell the truth,
almost all my stories are drawn from my own experience. I have usually
acquired a pet, made studies of it for several months in pencil, pen and
ink, charcoal and pastel, and then thought up a story based on actual
incidents. The story of Marshmallow and his friendship with Oliver the cat
is all true and the drawings done from life. I recall wondering, as I
sketched Oliver with the bunny in his arms, if anyone would really believe
- Clare Turlay Newberry
łThe Unexpected Surrogate˛ (House Rabbit Society)
by Diana Murphy, www.rabbit.org
Imitate the illustration style of Clare Turlay Newberry
through exploration of charcoal sketching.
charcoal drawing sticks (from art, hobby, or school supply stores)
(Idea: An adult can make or collect pieces of charred wood from a
campfire or fireplace, cool them, and place them in a cup for drawing use.
If charcoal is not available, use black chalk or an extremely soft drawing
white drawing paper or blank newsprint (very large paper allows for large
damp sponge for wiping fingers
hairspray (optional, with adult help) or clear hobby sealer
by Morgan Van Slyke, age 7
1. Though charcoal sticks break easily and are very messy, marks wash off
hands, fingers, and clothing with soap and water, Keep an old towel and an
apron on hand. Place a damp sponge on the drawing table for wiping messy
2. First, practice making charcoal lines, marks, and drawings on scrap
paper to find how charcoal acts on paper. Blend and smudge it with fingers
or a tissue to see how it blends and shades. Charcoal has a soft look - not
precise - so expect a simple light-handed drawing style to work best.
3. When ready, think about a simple idea to draw, such as these
fluffy rabbit single flower in a pot
trees in winter sleeping cat
Use imagination to think up a unique idea.
4. Hold a charcoal stick (or a broken smaller piece of charcoal) like a
paintbrush (not like a pencil), and begin the drawing. Smudge and blend
lines for shadows and shading with fingertips. Fewer lines drawn freely are
more effective than drawing many lines or details, so work simply and
5. When the drawing is complete, pin or tape it to a display wall. (Do
beware of magically appearing fingerprints on walls and doors!)
6. An adult can take the drawing outside or to a ventilated area and spray
the drawing with hairspray or a clear hobby sealer to help protect it from
further smudging. The drawing can also be rolled and stored, drawing side in
€ Explore drawing with a very soft drawing pencil, using an art eraser for
smudging and blending.
€ Explore painting with black watercolor paints, another technique used
often by Clare Newberry.