Drawing and Painting Barns


Here is a super easy lesson that I snagged from Painted Paper Flicker Page. If you have any desire to be utterly inspired let alone be swept away by color, visit this link. This gal is my ultimate inspiration! Couldn’t quite find the “barn” painting to refer you to, but it’s in there somewhere!

Anyway…like I said, this project is an easy one and it allows all children to feel like an art star. It’s wonderful lesson for all abilities as long as the child can draw a line (and it doesn’t have to be straight).


  • 12″ x 18″ white drawing paper
  • Oil pastels
  • Tempera paint

Here’s what I do:

Set out a piece of 12″ x 18″ white drawing paper and one black oil pastel per student.

On the whiteboard, I demonstrate how to draw a barn, beginning with the square that makes up the front of the barn. Starting at the bottom left hand side (allow room for background), draw a square with an open top. If some kids close off the “square”, don’t worry.

Now, draw two angle lines to form a triangle (pitched roof).

Place oil pastel on the bottom right hand corner of the “square” and draw a line along the bottom of the paper to form the bottom of the barn.

Then draw another line, parallel to the bottom line in the middle. Then, draw another line along the roof…BUT…stop before reaching the end.

Connect the lines to form a steep roof and side of the barn.

Add a square to form a “loft”, a wide double door and windows.

Keep the background simple by adding gently rolling hills, trees or even a fence. I encourage the kids to make the barn the star of the show.

Add a silo.

Don’t paint barn boards at this stage.

Drawing the barn lesson

Now, the kids are ready to paint. Set out a tray of white, yellow, red, light blue, dark blue and green.

Teach them how to mix colors directly on the page using the double loading technique with the paintbrush (dip paintbrush with one color, then dip into another color. Be careful not to swirl the paint around!)

Paint sky first. I encourage the kids to paint their sky whatever color they like, but they must consider the barn and the background before deciding. They don’t want to use the same colors!
Painting in the white space for the barn

After the sky is painted; paint the barn. Suggest that they paint their roof a different color than their barn.
Painting the barn red

The last step involves setting out little tubs of black tempera paint and small brushes. Trace over every single oil pastel lines plus add lines for barn boards, if desired.
Adding the finishing touches to the red barn

Third Grade Results!!!

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  • Paige

    First of all, I need to tell you how much I love your blog! I happened upon it via the Crafty Crow. The funny thing is we live in the oleta School District! I am homeschooling my oldest (5th grade) and your ideas have been ever so inspiring! On this project, what type of paint did you use? I read through the post a few times, but may have missed it. Thank you and PLEASE keep the ideas coming-

  • Jacquelien

    These barns look great!

  • Bottega Veneta


  • Neens

    SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL, as always! How long did these take in terms of class periods? And what kind of paper are you working on…it looks so…unwrinkled. 🙂

    P.S. I'm still looking forward to your post on how you teach your kids to give such quality work *hint, hint, nudge, nudge*

    I love this! 🙂

    • Sue

      I use rubrics to encourage my students to stay on track for the project. The rubric says things like: The student can draw a barn following step by step directions, The student can use good craftsmanship (paint like a 3rd grader) and (lines that are being erased are erased completely. I give them 5-6 criteria on each project with a box for them to check yes and no, (they know when they haven’t done their best and they will check no)then I assess them. They attach the rubric to the back of their project on the first day of the lesson.

  • Patty P

    Hi Neens!
    Class time: Two 45 minute sessions.
    Paper: I use Tru-Ray Suplhite drawing paper for every single project that requires paper, with the exception of watercolor paper which I use for watercolor paints.
    As for not wrinkling: I had to think about that one. There is always a small amount for wrinkling, but the less water you use, the less wrinkles. If you have wrinkles, place the stack under some heavy books.
    Good luck!

  • Alison

    I made these barns with my class and my students were very impressed with their work! I put them up in the hallway and I frequently get compliments on their work. Thank you so very much Patty for your inspiration. You have added such flare to my art program!

  • Nora

    This looks super cool!

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