A SKETCHING robot, 3D map and live illustration were all on display when the world’s biggest drawing festival was launched in Oxford.

Children’s Laureate, writer and illustrator Chris Riddell and author Philip Pullman were the guests of honour to open The Big Draw at the Bodleian’s Weston Library on Saturday.

The pair opened the festival with an illustration demonstration with Mr Pullman reading an extract from his Grimm Tales while Mr Riddell illustrated it on a big screen.

Oxford Mail:

Philip Pullman and Chris Riddell

Mr Pullman, from Cumnor, best known for the His Dark Materials trilogy, said he often drew and sketched scenes of what he is writing in order to visualise them better.

Top News

He added: “I am keen on drawing – it’s a wonderful exercise, especially for someone who does words all the time.

“It’s important that all children get to have the chance at school to do a bit of art.

“If we emphasise just the sciences, mathematics and technology we leave out a big part of what people are, love and enjoy.”

Oxford Mail:

10-year-old Zoe Carbray with her lino-cut

The library was filled with families for the opening presentation, where there was a series of events for children and adults alike.

Zoe Carbray drew a sketch of the Bodleian Library through a camera obscura, then transferred the image to lino to be printed. The 10-year-old said: “I do a lot of art – I like it because you can be creative with it.”

Events ran throughout the city, with other drawing-themed activities planned for the rest of September and into October. Visit thebigdraw.org