Recently I was asked by Puffin Post to do a double page spread of instructions on how to draw a puffin. They sent me some examples by quite famous illustrators like Ed Vere... I panicked, I’d never drawn a puffin before! This is where Google images was, I shamefully admit, a life-saver. In defence, it was unlikely I would have been able to see a live puffin anywhere in a 100 mile radius (Bristol Zoo perhaps?). It is even more unlikely I would have been able to get close enough to draw one. I used Google images a bit like the ‘How to draw horses’ book except I had to interpret what I saw from some very romantic photographs of puffins at sunset or puffin landing majestically with fish. I found that breaking down a puffin into essentially a potato shape and then adding all the extra bits like wings and beak worked quite well.
I worry that the children who had a go at following my ‘How to draw a Puffin’ instructions will think that what they have drawn is an anatomically correct puffin. They definitely haven’t, they only have to do a google image search to see what a real one looks like! However, what they will have, is a unique Hannah Shaw style 'one off' (with two eyes on the side of its head) because as much as I enjoyed doing this, I don’t think it’s likely I’ll be drawing puffins again for a while!