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“Petunia” Painting Project for Kids

Combine a literary classic, petunia, with a cool painting technique. Happiest project ever.

Incorporating literature into art projects remains my favorite type of lesson.  Last year, I introduced Petunia to my third grade students. Using a painting technique that I call smoothing, my students sketched a goose with pencil then  painted with happy colors, just like the book.

Don’t have the book? You can download this delightful video found on YouTube:

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper

Pencil and Eraser

Red, yellow, white, blue, green and black liquid tempera paint (I use Crayola)

I medium tip round brush

1 small tip round brush (for outlining)

Black marker, black crayon or lack oil pastel as optional outing supplies.

 

DRAWING

I photocopied a few pages from the book and placed on the children’s tables. Using observation techniques, the kids practiced drawing their own Petunia. I encouraged them to make a dot near the top of the paper and one near the bottom. The dots provided guidelines for where to start the head and where to place the feet. This ensures the goose will be drawn large enough to fill most of the paper.

 

Combine a literary classic, petunia, with a cool painting technique. Happiest project ever.

Combine a literary classic, petunia, with a cool painting technique. Happiest project ever.

 

PAINTING

Once the drawing was complete, children dipped a medium paint brush in the red paint and painted sections of the background paper. We used the smoothing technique to achieve a smooth paint finish. The children carefully painted around Petunia and the spring flowers.

After the background was complete, the children painted the flowers and leaves with a collection of green, yellow and blue paint mixed with small amounts of white. This created TINTS and resembled the illustrations found in the book.


OUTLINING

Once the paint is dry, children can use a small pointed brush dipped in watered-down black paint to outline Petunia. Notice how the children didn’t paint Petunia white? The white paper offered enough contrast so that painting the goose white seemed unnecessary. Although, children can paint their goose if they wish.

If you don’t like to use black paint to outline, you can use a thick black marker or even a crayon. Experiment and see what medium works best for you.

 

Combine a literary classic, petunia, with a cool painting technique. Happiest project ever.

    10 Comments

  1. Please describe the “smoothing technique”. Thank you

    Alice

    January 28, 2016

    • Sure! I not only explain, but I show it in the video. Click on SMOOTHING TECHNIQUES in the post (it’s in bold).

      Patty Palmer

      January 28, 2016

  2. Hi Patty! Would you mind linking the You Tube video for me please or emailing me the link? My school blocks the video 🙁

    Ashley Thompson

    February 2, 2016

  3. I am now a member, however, I cannot seem to find the place that is just for members. Could you please instruct me how to do that so that I can find lessons, etc.
    Thanks,
    Peggy Huhn

    cpbmhuhn@aol.com

    August 29, 2016

  4. Thank you Patty. I love the story. The question I have, do the children draw Petunia with a pencil first, or do they draw with a coloured pastel? Often I ask the kids to draw straight with the black pastel.

    Corinne

    January 16, 2017

    • You could do either with 3rd grade. Because I wanted to replicate the illustrations in the book, we used pencil. But drawing with oil pastel is a preferred method of mine as it encourages children o draw bigger. You can choose a lighter oil pastel color…perhaps yellow.

      Patty

      January 17, 2017

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