Penguins are a popular request in first and second grade. Students study Antarctica and are quite familiar with penguins and their habitat. Once students see how easily they can draw a penguin using a base of simple shapes, this lesson is sure to be a fan favorite.
What You’ll Need:
– 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper
– Black & white oil pastels
– Liquid tempera paint (white, blue, purple, black, orange)
– Medium round paintbrush
HOW TO DRAW A PENGUIN
I begin the lesson by showing the kids how to draw a penguin. I place many pictures of penguins on the white board so the children can add their own details. As I give the demonstration, I offer plenty of “options” so that each painting will be uniquely theirs.
We’ve created a handy drawing guide for you to use to draw the penguin. Download yours here: (NOTE: We recommend downloading the freebie using Chrome or Safari)
Using a black oil pastel, draw one large oval for the body and one small circle for the head.
Connect these shapes with two graceful lines for the neck. When I demonstrate this step, I show how you can place the small circle for the head off to the side. Once you connect the head and the body, it will look like the penguin is craning its neck.
Finish off the bottom of the body and add some feet peeking out below.
Add wings. Demonstrate a few different options for the wings; they can be down to the side, waving up in the air, or a combination of both. If you give students freedom on this step, you’ll be surprised how creative they can be.
Next, draw an iceberg or an ice shelf in the background. To do this, draw a horizon line first near the center of the page.
I give the option to draw half an iceberg or one that extends all the way across the paper. Either way, the top of the iceberg is a wavy line. Add some vertical lines from the top of the iceberg to the horizon line.
Some children will want to draw a hole in the ice. I like to show them how to make the ice look like it has shape. To do this, draw another “ring” around the hole and draw vertical lines connecting both rings.
Despite wanting to dip into the black paint first for the penguins, I tell children that it helps to paint the beak first, then the ice, the sky and finally the penguins. This way, the messy black paint won’t muddy up the crystal blue ice or the beautiful night sky.
Paint the beak orange.
As you move on to the ice, use the double-dipping technique with blue and white paint to create varying tints of blue in the ice shelf.
DOUBLE LOADING TECHNIQUE
Dip your paintbrush into one color, then again into another. Apply both colors to the paper without over-mixing. Part of the fun of this technique is the experimentation of using different amounts of each color to see what happens. For example, a big dip of blue, then a tiny dip into white will yield a different outcome than a big dip of white and tiny dip into blue.
Continue to paint the night sky using dark colors like purple and dark blue.
Next, add the black to the penguin, leaving the belly white. To make the grey feet, double load the paintbrush with black and white.
Finally, add some pure white stars twinkling in the night sky. If your paintbrush is too dirty, you can dip the back end of it in paint to make the stars instead.
When the painting is dry, use the black oil pastel to trace over all the black lines. You can use the white oil pastel to draw the eye back in if it has been painted over.
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