how to paint a koala australia art

How to Draw & Paint a Koala




Living in Santa Barbara means we are no strangers to fire dangers. Devastation from wild fires can affect an area’s ecosystem for decades. These beautiful animals are fighting to survive. It’s VERY scary and affects the air quality for miles around. We want to take time to send love to everyone involved in helping control these fires and saving these animals.

This blog post is dedicated to all our friends down under who are suffering through nature’s wrath. Especially our furry friends.

I hope you will share this marvelous marsupial with your kiddos so we can all keep Australia close to our hearts.

This lesson includes drawing & tracing skills, painting and creating tints, as well as using chalk pastel to create texture.

Watch here for a quick video version of the lesson:

Click the yellow button below to DOWNLOAD the Koala Drawing Guide. Add your name and email and we’ll send it to you!

Click here to subscribe


  • 12″ x 18″ orange sulphite paper
  • Oil pastels (black, gray, green, brown)
  • Liquid tempera paint (black, white, green, brown)
  • Paintbrush
  • Water & paper towels
  • Chalk pastels (black, white, light blue, yellowish gold)


Using a black oil pastel on orange 12″ x 18″ sulphite paper, begin drawing the head with two big ears, one with a straight line connecting them at the top and one curved line connecting to the bottom.

Draw two more curved lives inside the body to make the koala’s belly.

Draw one arm on each side of the body using two sets of curved lines going off the paper.

how to paint a koala australia art

Add two lines separating the ears from the face. Starting just above the chin, draw a short straight line.

To start the nose placement, add a shorter curved line in the middle of the face. Then, connect the two lines with straight vertical lines to complete the nose.

Make two ovals for eyes and two curved lines for the expressive eyebrows.

If their eyes are too small, have them be the pupils and draw a larger oval around the first.


Draw a long, curved vertical line starting on the right side of the koala’s shoulder and stopping until you get to the ear, then continue through the other end of the ear going all the way up the page.

how to paint a koala australia art

Repeat this step to complete the tree, explaining to students that this is called OVERLAPPING, to make an object appear behind another.

Add leaves to the background and explain to your students the important of BALANCE, and how as artists we want to fill in any empty space we might see in our artwork.


Use black, white, green & brown tempera paint, begin painting the koala. Start by painting the lightest color on the koala and work your way to the darkest.

Using the double loading technique, have the students start by dipping their paintbrush into the white and then a small amount into the black to paint the ears and belly of the koala a light gray.

Wipe off the brush with a paper towel if the color is too dark, and add more white to make it lighter.

Create a darker gray tint for the rest of the koala’s body.

how to paint a koala australia art

Repeat the double-loading technique for the leaves but with green and white tempera paint.


After the paint has dried, use a white or light blue chalk pastel to create texture by drawing lines around the body to look like fur.

Fill in the eyes with a light color, smoothing out with one finger.

how to paint a koala australia art

Final Step: Outline the koala’s body and background trees and leaves with a black oil pastel.

how to paint a koala australia art

Check out my Facebook Live tutorial for a full demonstration of the art project:

Click the yellow button below to DOWNLOAD the Koala Drawing Guide. Add your name and email and we’ll send it to you!

Click here to subscribe

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  • Gail

    I can imagine how I taught without this amazing site. Thank you! My confidence in teacher art has increased ten-fold and the kiddies are loving their art lessons. Keep them coming….

    • Hannah

      Hi Gail,

      Thank you for the support!! We are so glad these lessons make a difference for you!
      And thank you for being part of our Sparkly Community 💖

      -Hannah (Team Sparkle)

  • Diana

    I have been having difficulty downloading this drawing guide. Is there a problem with the link or just my computer? I have never had a problem before.
    Thank you,

    • Patty

      Hi Diana,
      I just tested out the link and it is working fine. Make sure you click the purple download link when you get the emailfrom us. Depending on your computer settings, it should download automatically so check your downloads 🙂

  • Amy

    I am super excited to teach this lesson as my class has been studying Koalas. For some reason I can not download the drawing guide.

  • ashley
  • srmarykathleenRoth

    I am a first grade teacher and would like to send these cool videos to my students!! Thank you and God bless you!! SMK

  • Ana Gabriela Guzmán Tello

    Love it! Thank you for sharing.

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