Three images side by side showing the development of a pencil drawing of a fox

Black Voices, Black Joy: Flipbook Tutorial

September 1, 2020
– By Kenturah Davis

This book by Nilah Magruder tells the story of a young girl's search for an elusive fox. Want to find a fox of your own? This tutorial will show you how to make a flip book animation showing a fox coming out of its hiding place.

Grab your own copy of How to Find a Fox from the Hammer Store!

"How to Find a Fox" flipbook

Three colored pencils, one marker, and one file clip to the left of a stack of white cards. The top card has a drawing of an orange fox peeking from behind a gray rock.

Supplies Needed:

  • a pack of blank index cards
  • black pen
  • coloring pencils and/or markers (optional)
  • binder clips
  • light source*

*Your light source needs to be a surface that you can use to see through your notecards. typically this is a light table, but I will be using the light from my tablet. You can use the light from a smart phone or you can even do this against a bright window.

1. Begin by drawing a scene with pencil. Keep the scene simple, as you will have to repeat it on every card. Include a large rock, like the one in the book.

A drawing of a rock in black ink on a white card. Black and white grid in the background.

2. Using your light source, trace your first image, but this time, add a drawing of the fox paws at the top of the rock.

Pencil drawing of two paws on top of a rock on a white card. Black and white grid in the background.

3. Trace the last drawing, but this time add two triangles to at the top of the rock to show the fox ears emerging.

Pencil drawing of two paws on top of a rock with ears peeking out on a white card. Black and white grid in the background.

4. Repeat, but this time, extend the two triangles. Continue this for several more drawings, elongating the triangle more and more.

Pencil drawing of two paws on top of a rock with ears peeking out on a white card. Black and white grid in the background.

5. On this next drawing, draw the top of the fox's head emerging.

Pencil drawing of two paws on top of a rock with top of head of a fox peeking out on a white card. Black and white grid in the background.

6. Repeat this drawing a few more times, showing more and more of the head.

7.…then the eyes....

Pencil drawing of a fox peeking out from behind a rock on a white card. Black and white grid in the background.

8….then the nose, then the shoulders.

Black and white pencil drawing of a fox peeking over a rock.

9. Repeat all the drawings in reverse, to show the fox ducking behind the rock again.

10. Feel free to add color to the cards to bring the animation to life. When the drawings are finished attach the binder clip to the left side of the stack of cards and flip quickly through the pages to see the animation.

Tag us @hammer_museum to show us what you've made! 

This project is a part of the Black Voices, Black Joy reading series co-presented with the Felipe de Neve branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. Visit the program webpage for more book titles and projects that will engage the whole family!