Monster Watercolor Drawings and Paintings

I knew I wanted to do a watercolor lesson with my first graders and typically I do a fish or a flower. Tiring of those particular lessons, I wanted something new. While racking my brain, I glanced up at my bookshelf and noticed a worn copy of Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
Perfect! What little kid doesn’t like monsters?
I photocopied a few of the pages from the book and place them onto the tables. On the white board, I drew a few friendly monsters and waited for the giggles. There were many!
Now it was there turn. Using a black crayon, the children drew one large monster onto a sheet of 9″ x 18″ watercolor paper. They added scales, swirls, dots, stripes and colored in a few sections.

Finally, the kids painted their monsters using watercolor paints. I used cake watercolors, but I really wish I used liquid. They are more vibrant and I think the kids would have liked the intense colors. Also, its hard for kids at this grade level to get the right amount of water mixed in with the paint. Still, the paintings look wonderful!

For more watercolor lesson ideas, check out Deep Space Sparkle’s “Watercolor Projects” PDF booklet.


  1. Ms. Julie's Place says:

    You have been honored with a

    Come on over to my blog to claim it!

  2. Carrie says:

    I did something similar this past fall -then had the students work at their table groups to create the background landscapes. Pretty cool!

    I love seeing the expressions that they came up with !

  3. Patty P says:

    I’d love to see pictures. maybe you could post them on the Deep Space Sparkle Facebook page? It’d be fun to see how other art teachers and parents interpret the lessons.
    Thanks for visiting!

  4. eyesthisway says:

    Hi Patty,
    I'm a new K-6 teacher in Australia. I love your site. It has provided me with so much inspiration. I used this lesson myself last week with a K/1/2 class. They had a lovely time creating their happy monsters. Thankyou for the inspiration :-)

    I blogged about the lesson here.

  5. [...] When I can fit it in to the schedule, I want to make that time count. My kids always love this project. a [...]

  6. Melissa says:

    I have been doing a similar project with kindergarteners for years. The students love when I glue wiggly eyes to the paper and then they create their monsters around that. I have also had them use texture plates for the body and appendages which they think is quit magical:)

  7. Suzie says:

    My class had a wonderful time creating these little monsters today! I love you blog and use it a lot. Thank you so, so much!

  8. Leah Minto says:

    love this project, I already have a lesson for Where The Wild Things Are but this would definitely spice it up, congrats on 1000!!!!

  9. Sharon Owens says:

    Love your ideas and enthusiasm! Definitely inspiring ! Plan to use some of your ideas in my own kids classes here in Monroeville, AL! THANKS!

  10. [...] We read the story Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and then we made our own wild things.  This coming week we are going to make a mural for them to live in.  The idea for this lesson came from Deep Space Sparkle. [...]

  11. bloggin’ good ideas…

    Dear Fellow Bloggers, I love and have used so many of your ideas and some are filed away for future use….

  12. nhahtist says:

    Dear Patty, You are such a great inspiration! I am in my 3rd wonderful year as an elementary art teacher after 25 years in graphic design. Your site has helped me tremendously!! I do something similar to this with my 1st graders. I read them the story and have them observe the details of the illustrations, then they create their own “wild things” in oil pastel and water color. They are fantastic, with a wide variety of features. (one eye, six arms, etc). The next week they cut out their creature, trace it. and stuff and staple them, and I tie a piece of yarn on them. They love their stuffed creatures! :)

  13. [...]  From Deep Space Sparkle: Wild Thing watercolor project [...]

  14. Shayna says:

    I like your ideas.thanks for sharing its really helpful.

    Watercolor Video

  15. [...] * PudStar is a BIG fan of watercolours so we’ll be doing some Wild Thing monsters over the holidays I think! Great ideas here. [...]

  16. A teacher who hates mispellings says:

    His name is MAURICE SENDAK. What a sad day that an elementary school teacher can’t spell a respected author’s name properly.

  17. dolores says:

    You really need to do a book Patty. Your ideas are so very art education based. Integrating reading and illustration is so fabulous. Stop giving your stuff away – it would be great in a book for first year teachers, particularly classroom elementary teachers. If I see another bulletin board with 30 “lions” all looking the same because all the problems were solved by the teacher (cut outs, color choices, etc) I will explode.

  18. […] idea or not, but the original inspiration for this project was from Patty at Deep Space Sparkle. See her Wild Things lesson here. She has created some amazing art projects for kids, and her site was an amazing resource for me as […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Patty

I teach art to 400 school children in Goleta, California. My art library contains hundreds of free art lesson ideas. My shop has art lesson plans, videos and resources to help you teach art to kids. It's a whole lot easier with Deep Space Sparkle.

Art Lesson Categories