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I Can Draw a Sheep!

Drawing sheep may seem like the easiest animal in the world to draw, but I found that they can pose a few problems for little ones. If I were to do this lesson again, I would most certainly chose an oil pastel and watercolor resist method. I love how the oil pastel acts like a little barrier for the watercolor, thus making the subject stand out a bit.

With these little sheep, we did indeed start with oil pastel, but then I got out my tubs of per-mixed tempera paints. Call me lazy, but I had them out for the previous Kinder class and figured they would work fine. Of course, they did work fine, but I like to optimize supplies and techniques and my choices were a little off.

The problem can start in the drawing. For Kinders, I emphasize enclosing lines to create shapes. It’s hard to paint a circle that isn’t quite closed. We work alot on this concept throughout the year.  For the face, we drew an oval. This worked fine. Then I showed them how to draw a puffy body and that’s where things got a bit squirrelly. Instead of bumps, some children drew loops which made the sheep go on forever. So cute!!! Anyways, we added rectangles for the legs after trying very hard to identify where the underbelly of the sheep was. Many children did well, but there were a few who needed some help looking at the pictures I had of sheep and figuring out where to put the eyes, mouth, etc.

We painted the background first, then the sheep. After the painting dried, we used a small brush and black paint for the outlining. This was hard for this group of Kinders. Perhaps a black oil pastel would have been better. We used a white oil pastel to draw the face.

Regardless, the sheep project really was fun and the kids enjoyed it every step of the way.




  1. I love this! What a great way to reinforce line types. Paired with a non-fiction book about sheep this could have a great science link too. Our kindergarten takes a trip to the farm every year. Next year I will plan this to coincide.

    J. Cooper

    March 14, 2012

    • I’m glad you like the lesson. I had a lot of laughs watching these little sheep come to life!


      March 14, 2012

  2. I love the sheeps! It’s hard also for young kids to have a sense of proportion but the kids did a great job! Just lovely!


    March 14, 2012

  3. Patty,
    Are you familiar with the Monart method with Mona Brooks?
    My background was originally of the Victor Lowenfeld variety where he doeanst believe in any instruction at all for young kids. I then went through Mona’s book and changed my whole way of thinking so I was wondering if you followed any particular method for the kids drawing


    March 25, 2012

    • I bought Mona Brooks book when I first began teaching. I really liked her perspective and it made me aware how children can be taught. But generally speaking, I don’t subscribe to any one person’s methods. I suppose I’m a bit unsophisticated as far as methods go, but I’ve learned to trust my approach and listen and observe how the children respond to my lessons. I would encourage everyone to read as much as they can about teaching children as certainly the more your are aware, the better you can identify your own perspective.


      March 25, 2012

      • I agree absolutely, follow the kids’ responses and that will guide your teaching. Reading about pedagogical approaches is important too, but it is most important to follow the cues your students give you. Great blog!

        Rebecca Donald

        June 21, 2012

  4. Hi Patty, I just wanted to let you know how much I’ve learnt from you over the last 12 months. I love your site, it is an inspiration. I would love to teach art full time, I only get to do it when I’m called in for a temporary day. Today I had kindergarten, and we tried your sheep. They were utterly delighted with themselves and their sheep, and they looked gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful resource. You’re one of my favourite book marks.


    March 28, 2012

    • Thanks, Mel. That is so great to here! BTW, I started my teaching career as a volunteer, so you never know.


      March 29, 2012

  5. Hi Patty,

    Just wanted to say you have some great ideas and my kindergarten class has been looking at some of your creations. We are going to try the cows and sheepNow and just discovered you are from PEI too! So now we are even more excited to see your stuff.

    Thanks from PEI!



    December 10, 2012

  6. Lovely! Great idea Patty on using oil pastels to stand as barrier for the water colors… sometimes the greatest ideas come when we are halfway through or even after we’ve seen the output of what we do… that’s why there is always a room for improvement on how we teach and on what things to do and consider…


    Stan Alderson

    May 2, 2013

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