Chengdu: Panda Bear Art Project

Chengdu Art Lesson

I received this book in the mail a few months ago and as soon as I opened up the package and saw sleepy Chengdu, I knew my first graders would love him.
Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep by Barney Saltzberg tells the story of how little Chengdu couldn’t fall asleep no matter how hard he tried. The illustrations are simple and created with a limited color palette of black, white and greens.

Although I read this book and created the art lessons for my first graders, it might be a better project for second grade kids. Quite honestly, I was pretty impressed with my first graders and their ability to stay focused on such detailed chalk work.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 12″ x 18″ black sulphite paper
  • white, black and green chalk
  • goggly eyes
  • white school glue
  • Aerosol hair spray

SUPPLIES

DRAWING CHENGDU

With a white piece of chalk, draw a circle for the head, two ears, a round hump for a back, and one arm that extends downward and a back leg. Next, place chalk at edge of paper and draw a line that goes under Chengdu’s head, under the arm and off to the side. This is the top of the branch. Draw another line for the bottom of the branch. Draw two paws that peek up from under the bottom part of the log.

DRAWING CHENGDU

 COLORING WITH CHALK

Color Chengdu’s face and body with white chalk. Then, color the arms, paws, ears and patches for eyes with black chalk. Super messy so get out your baby wipes. Don’t add any eyes as we will glue some goggly eyes on top of the black patches, just like this..

.Chengdu Art Lesson

MAKING THE BRANCH LOOK 3-D

Once everything is in place, outline Chengdu again with white or black chalk. Color the top part of the log white and the bottom part of the log black. The middle can be without color. Using just ONE finger, carefully blend the top and bottom parts of the log with just one swipe of the finger.

BLENDING CHALK

You can watch this video to see how one little girl managed her 3-D effect:

ADDING FOLIAGE

Even though Chengdu might look a bit fuzzy at this point, grab a few different colors of green chalk and draw lots of foliage. Don’t be afraid to draw right over the log or even Chengdu. That’s the beauty of chalk; it goes over everything!  You can add a moon, Chengdu’s brother or anything else you would like.

ADDING-FOLIAGE for Chengdu Art Lesson

Cutest Panda Bears ever!

chengdu gallery

7 comments

  1. mail@artintheschool.org says:

    What an adorable project! I’m going to share this with our after school art teachers. Love your ideas, Patty!

  2. […] your children involved with the story! I found an adorable art project on Deep Space Sparkle. I am going to try this Panda Bear Art Project with my first graders next school year. However, […]

  3. Karen says:

    I love combining art and literature! Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful lessons. I am curious about the aerosol hair spray that is noted as a supply and it’s use. It was not mentioned in any of the steps. I am thinking it is used at the end to set the chalk? I will be heading to our library today for this book….thanks so much Mrs. Patty!

    • Patty Palmer says:

      Hi Karen,
      Ooops! I use the hair spray to set the chalk. It keeps it from smearing. You’ll love the book. Very cute.

  4. Suzanne Elmer says:

    Hi Patty, which hair spray have you found to be the most effective for sealing chalk drawings? I have tried a number of them and the chalk still smears. Btw the panda is adorable!

    • Patty Palmer says:

      Any cheap aerosol hairspray works well but you might need to lower your expectations. No spray will prevent smears completely. Chalk is by nature a non-permanent material.

  5. slhaberberger@yahoo.com says:

    I am having trouble finding black chalk. Michael’s had white school chalk and sidewalk chalk. The boxes of sidewalk chalk have a “black”, which I used for my sample project, but it is more gray and hardly shows up against the black paper. It doesn’t have the same POP without true black. Any suggestions?

    Thank you!!

    • Patty Palmer says:

      Hi,
      Buy a pack of chalk art pastels from Michaels or even Staples. Koss is a fairly available brand. Don’t buy sidewalk chalk. Look in the art aisle and not the kids crafts or activity aisles.

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>