How to draw and paint a sea turtle using simple art supplies.

Sea Turtles Drawing & Painting Lesson




Sea Turtles Drawing & Painting Lesson

How to draw and paint a sea turtle using simple art supplies.

This sea turtle drawing & painting art project was inspired by this Under-the-Sea Chalk Lesson.

To keep the project manageable for first graders, I used just one sea creature–turtles– but switched up mediums. My first graders used oil pastels and cake/puck tempera paints to create these beautiful sea turtles.

This art project is part of the Art at Home series of Facebook Live video replays.

Follow along with Patty for a full demonstration of this project:

This is what you’ll need:

– 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper

– Cake or puke tempera paint

– Black oil pastel

– White school glue, brush & glitter (optional)

drawing and painting sea turtles for kids art in the classroom

Sea Turtles Drawing

You can display a few pictures of sea turtles on the white board. I offered my students both a handout and some drawing instruction. We talked about what they could include in the background of their pictures. I told a story of how I saw sea turtles while snorkeling in Maui. I noticed that the turtles loved to hide under the huge rocks and swim amongst the plants. We added a few rocks, some seaweed and a few other fish.

Painting the Turtle

Once the children painted the ocean color on the background, I asked them to paint the turtle. Remind the children to pick a color other than the background so the turtle will stand out.

Many kids used lots of paint colors in their turtles, while others created a more subdued palette. To add a special touch, we brushed glue on a few areas and sprinkled with glitter. I know. You don’t need this but we had a few extra moments and the glitter was just sitting there.

sea turtles art lesson gallery kids art

Want a free drawing guide? Click the image below and we’ll send you our Sea Turtle and Fish Drawing Guide PDF!

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    These are beautiful! Can’t wait to try them. I live in upstate New York, and we cannot wait for spring! These turtles make me feel like I’m somewhere warm 🙂

  • New York Abstract Art

    Children will definitely love this article. I would definitely love to follow all points mentioned by you and try all turtles drawing with my kids. Once I try these drawing I will definitely share on your blog.

  • Lora

    I am tempted to dump one of my plans and do this one instead. I love it!!! I need to figure out how to make this a two day project. (The last day of art class.;-))

  • lesliepugh

    Just wanted to let you know that the link on this page to download the sea turtle drawing handout is broken. This looks like a wonderful project though!

    • Patty

      Yes, you’re right. I’m so sorry. We refreshed our website and are in the process of fixing broken links.

  • Annette Jacobs

    I am in the process of teaching my students about the color wheel. I think this turtle unit is cute and that the 2 will blend well together.

  • Ginny


  • Therese

    Love the simplicity and the fact you can teach the colour wheel using this idea.

  • Caryl A. Brown

    I love how simple yet beautiful this drawing is! Thank you! its perfect for our Mexican Art Theme.

    Caryl : )

  • rosemary walsh

    love this lesson

  • Tanya Hodgson

    Thank u love learn from u xxxxx

  • Sandra LopezAguado

    My kids and I loved the activity. Thaks so much for that friendly art spaces in your videos

  • tanya

    would just love to do this with my art class thanks for the help

  • tanya

    hi dont know if i sent right email thanks so excited planing my lesson for next term art thank you for your help

  • Susan

    As a grandmother homeschooling my grandkid for the first time. I need all the help I can get. Thank you for providing help!!

  • Ribha

    Love it

  • Amae75

    Cool projects!

  • Jacque

    These projects are fabulous. My grandchildren and I are doing these together via internet witha bit of help from their parents. Between us we are in 3 different states. How fun!

  • Donna

    I love all of your projects! They are so well explained and easy to teach. Thank you

  • Lisa

    Thanks so much for the project ideas for the remote learning. This is going to be a challenge. My biggest concern is that students have basic art supplies at home already.

  • Stella

    It was awesome I hope I can do more of them some time soon

  • maggie

    great lesson

  • Alessandra Tomasi

    Very original and creative idea, thank you!

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