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Painted Dinosaur Art Project

Drawing a dinosaur takes center stage in this art lesson. Students sit up and listen as all are eager to learn how to draw their favorite subject. After the drawing, students use brightly colored tempera paints to complete their artwork.

Art Lesson Set Up

You won’t need any fancy supplies here, just some paper, oil pastels and tempera paint.┬áLately, I’ve been favoring a “tub” approach to setting out paints. I have a supply of pre-mixed tempera paints that I keep in pint-sized plastic containers with lids. It makes setting up and cleaning up easy. All I need to do is place an assortment of colors on the table, and when the class is over, I put lids on the paint and set them away.

How to Draw a Dinosaur

To draw the dinosaur, start with a backwards letter “C” on either the top (long neck) or bottom (Stegosaurus) of the paper. This is the head. Next, draw a long neck for the Long Neck dinosaur. Be careful not to go too far down the page.

For the Stegosaurus, draw the back next. This guy has a big back that turns into his tail. Draw a big hump for the back and a straight line for the tail. Draw a straight line back towards the head. Now all you have to do is add two rectangles for legs. To make drawing even better, extend a curved line up from the legs to inside the body. This line makes it look like the legs are strong and powerful.

For the Long Neck, add a curved line for the body and the tail. Add the belly and the legs in the same way as the Stegosaurus. Add spikes, armored plates, horns and any patterns that you wish.

Finally, draw a horizon line. This is where the sky meets the earth.

Painting the Dinosaur

Paint the background first.

After painting the background, paint the body. Don't forget to paint patterns.

Finally, use a small brush and black paint to trace over all the lines that you like.

Dinosaurs created by Second Graders



Other Dinosaur Lessons:

Rompin’ Dinosaurs (Watercolor)

Dazzlin’ Dino’s (Chalk Pastel)



  1. You’re right kids love dinosaurs. They look great!


    May 15, 2011

  2. I know you like to include literature in your art lessons and there are two books by Bernard Most I like to read when we do dinosaur lessons. They are “Whatever Happened to the Dinosaurs” and “If Dinosaurs Came Back?” They are fun, fictional books.


    September 28, 2013

  3. Love, Love, Love, Love, Love!!!!!!
    For sure doing this lesson with my 1st graders tomorrow morning.
    I think I may turn it in to a 2-part, 2 hour lesson to let parts dry for painting over and to outline further with back pastel. Don’t for get to have them write their names on the back.


    January 11, 2016

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