21st October 2009
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Draw it, paint it, cut and paste it – give a free rein to your creativity this half term and make a fantastic mounted portrait of your family on 29 October 2009 at the River & Rowing Museum ( With a helping hand from cartoonist Scooter McKenzie you can let your imagination run wild by transforming all of your family members into cheerful, lively cartoon characters!

Scooter McKenzie began drawing at a young age, inspired by the superhero comics his parents bought for him every week. Since his debut in regional newspapers twenty years ago, he now provides cartoons for newspapers and publishers worldwide. McKenzie will be joining the River & Rowing Museum for a special workshop day where he will share all of his cartooning tips and secrets. With the Museum’s inspiring collection of photos and images to draw on, the drop–in workshops will be a fun event for all the family.

Scooter McKenzie's Top Five Cartooning Tips:


Top Tip One - Carry your cartooning kit everywhere. This should include: a pencil, rubber and sharpener for sketching; a black felt tip pen for doing your artwork; a notebook so you remember funny things and a small mirror to see the expressions on your face.


Top Tip Two - If you’re drawing someone who is smiling, it makes you smile too! Whatever expression you need to show, use your mirror to see how your face changes.


Top Tip Three - Only put three fingers and a thumb on each cartoon person’s hand. It makes the tricky job of drawing hands easier so almost every cartoonist does it.


Top Tip Four - Always check you haven’t drawn a right hand on a left arm and a left hand on a right arm. It’s happened to me!


Top Tip Five - Always draw your cartoon character wearing the same clothes. Even if you’re not a great cartoonist (yet!), your readers will easily be able to tell who is who.

Perfect Portraits…Family Portrait Day will take place on Thursday 29 October, 10.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 3.30pm. The workshops are FREE with admission and are just one of a variety of exciting events for kids taking place at the Museum this half term. Parents and children can also enjoy the Museum's other galleries and exhibitions including Wind in the Willows, as well as the Museum shop and terrace café - an ideal place to relax in the Museum's unique riverside setting.

Scooter McKenzie, cartoonist said: “Drawing portraits is easy and fun. Come along and see how we can make even the simplest cartoon face smile, laugh, sing and shout!”

Paul Mainds, Trustee and Chief Executive, River & Rowing Museum said: "This half term is all about giving everyone an opportunity to unleash their creativity with a host of interesting, fun and engaging activities for everyone to get stuck in to! Located on the River Thames and surrounded by meadows, the River & Rowing Museum’s beautiful setting is the perfect place to feel inspired.”
Events for Children:

Big Draw: The Longest River of Drawing
Saturday 24 October
10am - 5pm
This is your chance to take part in a nationwide event and have a go at drawing in the Thames Gallery on the 'longest river of drawing'. Take inspiration from the Museum's collection of boats and add your imagination! All drawing materials provided.
Fun for all the family
FREE with admission
Please see the Big Draw website for further information and events:

Wobbly Webs…Shivering Spiders
Tuesday 27 October
10.30am - 12.30pm
They dance, tidy up and recycle. Enter the wonderful world of spiders. Make a whole army of them using card fabric and pipe cleaners. Make a wobbly web for them to live on with string and fine elastic. Learn the Staying Alive Dance.
Find out why spiders are not really allowed in the Museum!
Age 4 – 7

Little Letters: Illuminated Manuscripts
Wednesday 28 October
10.30am - 12.30pm
Use the Oxford Scribes calligraphy exhibition as inspiration for creating your own little letters…on a large scale! Use collage and different materials to fill a letter of your choice in the form of an illuminated manuscript.
Age 4-7

Perfect Portraits…Family Portrait Day
Thursday 29 October
10.30am -12.30pm & 1.30pm -3.30pm
Use all sorts of different materials to make a mounted portrait of your family. You could even make a cartoon. Be inspired by the Museum's collection of photos and images. Meet cartoonist Scooter McKenzie at a drop-in workshop on drawing and cartoons.
Fun for all the family
FREE with admission

Events for Adults:

The Long Tradition - a Calligraphic Taster
Friday 30 October
10.30am -4.30pm
Carol Huff is a previous chairman of Oxford Scribes and an active member of the Calligraphy & Lettering Arts Society; she is an experienced teacher and her work has featured in many exhibitions. 'The Long Tradition' of calligraphy in the Western World introduces 'hands' such as Italic, Foundational and Roman Capitals - all of which are still used today. Come and try your hand at some of these styles of writing and help to keep them alive! Professional calligrapher, Carol Huff, will provide paper, pen, ink and encouragement in a relaxed environment that all beginners should enjoy.
£36 including materials

Jewellery Design - Make Beautiful Jewellery
Saturday 31 October
10.30am - 12.30pm
Diana Mowatt exhibits and sells her handcrafted jewellery at Jam for Tea in Henley-on-Thames and runs regular workshops in the local area. Learn new jewellery-making techniques to design and create beautiful jewellery. Knot leather cord to make unique necklaces. Practise your wire-wrapping techniques to make perfect loops for earring dangles and pendants. Learn the different uses for memory wire and jewellery wire, and take away necklaces, bracelets and earrings unique to you. Choose from an array of gorgeous glass beads and crystals with expert tuition.
£18 + £20 materials

Mothers of Invention
Saturday 31 October
The River & Rowing Museum and Friends of Rowing History are organising a Rowing History Forum on Saturday 31 October. The keynote speaker will be Thomas E Weil who puts the challenging question: Who is the Mother of Invention? He will investigate who is really responsible for the slide, the shell and the outrigger. Other speakers at the forum include boat builder Gail McGarva and Rob van Mesdag. Reserve your seat by calling 01491 415600 or email
£30 including morning tea and coffee, buffet lunch, afternoon tea and coffee.
The forum is preceded by an optional dinner at Henley's Leander Club on Friday 30 October. Contact Sheila Harrington 01491 636760 or


Booking information
Full information for all events, activities and exhibitions is available at Bookings can be made on 01491 415 605 or All paid for events MUST be booked in advance. No booking is required for FREE events.


About the Author

Gill and Phil C

Member since: 9th July 2012

Hi, We are Phil and Gill Chappell. We own the Best of Henley-on-Thames. We live in Henley so would love to hear your views and opinions about all things Henley.

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