It’s hard to resist adding a snowman painting project into an art curriculum. They’re easy to draw and oh, so cute.
I did this lesson with my first graders but it would also be a perfect lesson for second or third. The whole point of this lesson is to have the children think about what a snowman would look like close-up and on an angle. Most want to draw the three circles and get on with it so I try to keep their interest by showing them a different way to draw a snowman.
How to draw a 3/4 view snowman
With the paper positioned tall rather than wide, use a black oil pastel (or black crayon) to draw a sideways letter “U” about one hand’s width down on the left side of a blue piece of paper. Draw a hat on top of this curved line so that the kids can see that this sideways “U” is really a head. I demonstrate a few different types of hats, so try a few out.
To make the body, position the oil pastel along the bottom part of the head and draw another curved line that reaches all the way down to the bottom of the paper. Now we have a snowman and we didn’t draw one circle.
Add two dots for eyes, a big carrot nose that extends beyond the line for the face and a big smile.
To make the scarf, draw another curved line that matches the head shape. Add a scarf tail.
Painting the Snowman
Use white tempera paint to paint the snowman. The white is quite thick in the bottle and normally I would add water to thin out the paint to a good brushing consistency, but not here. You want the white paint to be thick enough to cover the blue paper. Once the snowman is painted white, bring out the colored tempera paint and paint the carrot nose, hat and scarf. Wait until the white paint dries before adding the eyes and mouth back in with the oil pastel.
The best way to make perfect snowflakes is to use a Q-tip. Dip in paint and dot all over the paper (including the hat, scarf, etc.)
The children loved this project and were quite impressed with their new found knowledge on perspective.
First Grade Snowman Painting
Want more holiday project ideas for your students? Download this free lesson plan by clicking the yellow button below and we’ll send it to you! Or click HERE for more free winter art lessons from our library.
WOW- I am so glad I found your blog- I love this stuff!!!! I am going to do those snowmen with my kids tomorrow. keep up the great work!!!!
Love your blog, too, Sara! Your colors inspire me…
Thanks for visiting.
Great lesson, I found it to be very successful, and the kids absolutely loved it. I don’t know how you come up with so many well-designed lessons, but they have been so useful for me and really inspired me this year. I posted results of this project on my website. Thank you so much!
I LOVE these! I’m doing this with my kids tomorrow. Thanks! You’re blog is the best. I tell everyone about it.
I did this with my first grader yesterday. It is adorable! Thank you for the idea!
Brand new to this site and lovin’ it! I teach a combined 5/6 class where there is no art teacher. I am always looking for ways to include more art so this site is great. I was wondering what you would recommend for my kids for some winter/holiday art. I really like this idea because of the off set and making the kids think outside 3 perfect circles. my kids pretty much love any art project because they have never had any art lessons. I’m really trying so any advice would be great!!! Thanks!
Hi Cara and welcome to the site! Honestly, any of my winter/seasonal lesson plans would be great for your class. Most people find they can adapt any project to an age group. In your case, it’s a bit easier using a “younger” lesson plan for the older kids. I’ve found it’s harder to work down. Meaning that a lesson I teach to my fifth grade students would not work as well for 1st grade. I tend not to do any religious-based art lessons or crafts, but there are a ton of sites that do. Just look in the Link page under “Inspirations”.
I did the close up snowman with my special needs students…and they came out wonderful!!I only had 40 minutes so I had the students color the details with crayon first,then use just white paint.Thank you for so many good ideas and bautiful photos of the work!
I love the closeup snowmen. What kind of paper did you use to have the chlidren
paint on? It looks a little different then construction paper which I don’t think would take the paint as
nicely as what you used. Thank you Karen
Take a look at my list of art supplies. The paper I use for all my projects, including this one is listed here.
My third graders made these today. They turned out so well. I love this site.
Looks like a great idea for a lesson!
Just about to embark on this project. Could read the book The Snowman…
I just wanted to say that I used this lesson with my 3rd grade class. We did the entire project in 90 minutes and I am the envy of the school. I have shared your site with my collegues and all are anxious to do these lessons. We don’t have an art teacher at our school so all art is left to the classroom teacher. I feel like I have found a gold mine. Thanks so much for sharing your hard work.
Thanks!! Tried this today in first grade and they loved it!! So easy, yet so different than what I’ve done before!!
I did these with my Y1 and Y2 children (5 to 7 year olds). They loved doing them, were able to be completely independent and were hugely proud of their achievements. We used the techniques they learnt for other Christmas art projects the next week. Thank you!
I LOVE this website. Shared this idea with the blogging world. Thanks for all your wonderful ideas.
I love the snowmen. I am a first grade teacher and love art as well. We will make these soon.
I did your close up snowman art lesson with my primary/one class last week. The lesson is very easy to follow for little ones. The results were fantastic. Many of them are hanging the school office for visitors to see. I plan on doing most of your snowman related ideas this month. I consider myself lucky to have found such a great art website
Thanks for sharing! I painted our spin on this project and posted about it here http://theeducatorsspinonit.blogspot.com/2012/01/afterschool-express-winter-fun.html with a link back to this post and your blog. I found you on pinterest and ha’ve been reading more on your blog and am looking forward to trying painting castles sometime soon =)
Thanks for your great ideas. These are awesome! My Kindergartens will love painting these.
What a great art project. I am not an art teacher, but a first year 1st grade teacher. I did this fun project just to give my 1st graders a fun project and to take a break from our normal routine. We also wanted to bring a little winter scene to our classroom before we had a Christmas party. They were a big hit. We even got comments from the 2nd graders saying “That looks like 2nd grade work. Many of the teachers also loved our work. I am really enjoying this website. Thanks for all the great ideas.
I did these with a large group of K and K/1 students today and they turned out great! Thanks so much for your wonderful lessons!
Hi Patty. Your lovely sis-in-law Jackie sent me a link to your website when I started teaching elementary school. You have been an inspiration for many of my favorite projects including this one. Thanks!
I live and teach Primary P2/3 ASD children (age 5, 6 and 7). We love your art ideas and do art most days. IM beginning to notice that all their work looks a lot like my example. Also there work is very similar to each others? Is this OK? Or shoukd I be teaching them to think more creatively?
Try to remove your artwork or sample as soon as you are finished with your demo. In fact, try not to have a teacher sample at all. Go through the steps and then leave the demo art on the white board or wherever so kids can remember what they need to.
Always encourage children when they make lines or do something a bit different. Celebrate the uniqueness. Teaching is a process and as you reflect on your teaching style and what the kids are engaged with, you can start to fine tune. Believe it or not, just by reflecting on this subject, will bring you closer to your goal of having children create more unique pieces. Let me know how it goes.
I’m Jane Robinson who jyst mailed you. Meant to say I live and teach in Scotland -UK!!!!!!
Awesome! Thank you so much for this project!
Can you tell me how you would connect the snowman art project to the learning intentions?
Sure. My learning intentions would be technique specific: how to form a ball out of clay (Elements of Art : Form), how to use form in a work of art….
My suggestion for you is to identify what you art program aims to do (it’s different for everybody) and then see how the techniques an creative opportunities mesh with your art program and/or philosophy.
This is a great question to ask other art teachers in our open Facebook group. Here’s a link tot join:
This is a fantastic resource. With the shift away from religion by many families, this provides many great activities that can be used for all students.
This looks so fun. I think I am going to have my students paint white dots on clear film (the kind used for overheads) and layer it on top of the picture. I think it will look so cool!