Princess and the Pea Art Lesson




Here is a great lesson that uses oil pastels/crayons and watercolor for a classic resist lesson. Very easy to draw, this Princess and The Pea project can be achieved in two, 45-minute class sessions.

You’ll need the following supplies:

  • 12″ x 18″ white construction/sulphite paper
  • Black oil pastels
  • Colored oil pastels or crayons
  • Watercolor paints
  • Brushes (medium)
  • Gold glitter
  • White school glue

Here’s what you do:

Princess and the pea- drawing the bed and mattress
Princess and the pea- drawing with oil pastels
Princess and the pea- begin painting

For a final flourish, children dabbed white school glue onto the crown and we sprinkled with a tiny bit of glitter. We all agreed it was the perfect finish to this very fun project!

Third Grade Princess and the Pea Art….

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  • KJ@letsgoflyakite

    I am so glad you posted about this lesson. All of the princesses turned out so beautiful. My girls and I did one with scraps of fabric, but I have looking for a project which uses watercolours and pastels together, so this would be perfect. The final projects are really very special.


  • Leah

    LOVE this craft! This is one of my daughter’s favorite books. So will definitely be doing this craft with her.

  • Jonelle Bell

    I featured this post on my “Friday Favorites”
    A Place Called Kindergarten

  • Kathleen Pequignot

    I had so much fun doing this myself. 🙂 It’s always great to loosen up with children’s art lessons; I seem to enjoy them most of all. Thanks for sharing a great idea. Here is my attempt… as posted on Flickr.

  • Linda Bierbrier

    Last school year I discovered your website and have been an avid fan ever since. Thank you for all your great ideas and lessons! I LOVE doing art with my 2nd and 3rd graders and they’re all enthusiastic. This lesson was well received and had rave reviews. It was especially touching to see my special needs student take off with this, as fairy tales are her favorite.

  • Jocelyn Gallimore

    Hi. My Year 3 class did this activity ;ast week and they came out magnificently well. Thanks for the great idea. Love your web site.

  • Janis

    I just have to do this project. It has been calling out to me since I first saw it. It’s May, i better get going!

    • Patty

      Do it, Janis! It’s a really fun lesson….even for the boys!

      • jayda

        ilike deep space sparkle a lot

  • Heather Salisbury

    I have a smaller group of 6 children for a summer class and would like to use some of your lessons. My question for you is do you think with a smaller group of kids we might be able to finish this project faster? I have them four different times for 1:15 each time, and would like to do a different project each time.
    Thanks for your help!
    Love your blog,
    Heather Salisbury

  • Samantha

    I love the idea, I might try the format of this lesson but instead of a princess, have the students design their perfect bed and make themselves resting on the top instead of the princess. Still thinking about it—maybe have their favorite stuffed animal on top too?

  • Laurie

    Found this lesson while searching for ideas for a first grade fairy tale unit. These turned out so well! I’m not an art teacher, so I might not be able to dedicate this much time to it, but they’re so awesome that I’d hate to leave any steps out. Really like the way you incorporated the mixed media with the scrapbook paper and watercolor and pastels. Thanks for sharing!

  • Carrie Gelson

    Thank you for the inspiration! I find so many wonderful projects on your blog! I used this one after reading some fractured fairy tales with my class. We had such fun with these!

    Our projects are here: http://thereisabookforthat.com/2013/03/15/princesses-and-hidden-peas/

  • Tara


    I loved this idea. We did it to go along with our Princess and the Pea lesson and had a lot of fun with it. Here is my post about it if you’re interested: http://practicallyhomemade.blogspot.ca/2013/05/the-princess-and-pea-art.html

  • kathy neet

    Patty,Great project-check out this beautiful book version”The Princess and the Pea” by Rachel Isadora for an Arfican twist to the story with beautiful illustrations .

  • beckytufts@hotmail.com

    I found a rendition in spanish (La Princesa y el Guisante – 2005) that is worth looking up for the artwork. The author/illustrator team is Lauren Child (Charlie and Lola cartoon) and Polly Borlund.

    I occasionally dusted off my high-school spanish and read to my girls…I told them our dog liked to hear me give it a try- which may have been true because she did curl up with us.

    Also- there is a game that is rather cute- by HABA…I love the HABA games as artwork themselves- in this one, there is a cardboard bed, little stuffed mattresses and pillows in 4 colors- a dice is rolled and you try to stack onto the bed without tipping it over.

    I will try the lesson with my girls- we will love it. You say boys dont mind it? I was wondering about that in regards to another lesson too- the Degas ballerinas which I love for the spatial concept …when do boys start taking umbrage against such girly subject matter, and do you offer them alternatives or try to balance out…or just avoid those lessons for the mixed girl/boy groups?

    • Patty Palmer

      Hi Becky,
      I would love to see that game. It’s been a while since I played games with my kids so I have no idea what’s out there anymore.
      As for the boy question–well, I get asked that a lot. I really don’t have a good answer except that it never occurred to me that they wouldn’t enjoy it. The boys in both the “Princess and the Pea” art project and Degas Dancers really enjoyed the lesson and did very well. Most of the time I focus on technique so that is what we talk about. If the boys in my class mind, they never say. I suppose like many things in life, it depends on your delivery.
      Thanks for your great comment!

  • The Educational Tourist

    What a wonderful lesson! LOVE the results. I so love art and teaching kids helps them love art, too!

    I suggest art lessons on the artist and the style before visiting museums. It helps layer the learning!

    Thanks for a wonderful lesson.
    Natalie, The Educational Tourist

  • Jennifer

    I love this project, but is there a drawing guide that goes a long with it? Thanks!

    • Bethany

      Hi Jennifer! This is Bethany from Team Sparkle. This post contains the general directions for the lesson. However, if you are a Sparkler, the full drawing guides can be found in the Fairy Tales bundle inside The Sparklers’ Club. To learn more about The Sparklers’ Club you can join our waitlist here https://deepspacesparkle.lpages.co/join-waitlist/

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