Draw a Sasquatch the Ed Emberley Way

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I probably have almost every Ed Emberly instructional drawing book ever published. My 7-year-old daughter loves his books as much as I do. Emberley's books are appealing because his step-by-step instructions are clean and simple, and if you follow them you will end up with a great looking critter.

When I saw the image above, I thought it was from a new Ed Emberley book, but it was actually created by illustrator Nate Wragg, who is also an Emberly fan. Here's what Wragg says about Emberly's work:

As a kid I had several of his books, and I have to say he was one of my first artistic inspirations. I used to love to draw from his books, follow the steps, use all the fun shapes, and adding all the detail at the end was my favorite part. One of the things I love about Ed Emberley's work is the way he designed his characters off such simple shapes. It's one of the first things that I think we all learn and do as designers when we are working on a character design, or thinking about structuring a layout drawing for a background. Start simple, and play with simple shapes to help vary your design, then go from there.
Ed Emberley Sasquatch tribute



  1. I’m a professional videogame designer and my rough concept sketches STILL look like Ed Emberley drawings. I was thrilled when I went through the books at my parents’ house a few years ago and found my old copy of “Make A World”. Yay, Ed! Without you and Richard Scarry, my childhood would have been much less interesting.

    1. “Without you and Richard Scarry, my childhood would have been much less interesting.”

      You too? Throw in the guy that did the “Draw 50 _____” books, and we’ve got a trifecta.

    1. DUDE! I can’t believe you busted out with Mark Kistler! That guy and Ed Emberly were (and in many ways still are!) my undefeated art senseis!

  2. Ok, a cursory google images search didn’t find it, but I distinctly remember growing up around my dad’s snarky poster entitled: How to draw a square, a circle, and a rectangle.

    You see, you start with a parrot, then you erase the eyes, the feathers, the legs….

  3. Ed Emberley was a cornerstone to my childhood.

    Mark Kistler came along a little later (for me at least), and always struck my introverted sensibilities as a bit too intense–like the love-child of Doug Henning and Rip Taylor. But bless his heart, he’s still going strong today, and his enthusiasm is still engaging kids in drawing. And that’s pretty cool.

  4. Sigh, talented people make me sick. 8-) Even if I traced every image, my drawings would be unrecognizable.

    I hope people that can draw, paint, etc. realize how special they are and that their talent is amazing and wonderful.

  5. OMG! Thank you for posting this! I had these books as a kid and have long since lost them and could not remember what they were. The moment I saw your picture, I knew it was the books I had. Thanks a bunch for posting this!

  6. Ed Emberley and Richard Scary were a huge part of my childhood. Does anyone remember a guy who drew this giant, futuristic space scene on PBS in the early 90s?

    Also, just wanted to give a shout-out to Bill Cosby and Picture Pages. Pudding Pops.

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