Watercolor Iguana Art Lesson


Here is an easy watercolor art project starring an interesting creature…iguanas! My fourth grade students had a blast drawing the iguana with a black oil pastel and then using watercolors and special watercolor techniques to create these stunning pieces of art.

Simple supplies are required: 12″ x 18″ watercolor paper, black oil pastels, pan-style watercolor palettes, salt, tissues and brushes.

Steps 1, 2, and 3- watercolor iguana

I used the same steps and instructions as illustrated in my 3-Ingredient Art Grades 5 & 6 art lesson booklet. I used the drawing instructions from the art booklet and for the kids who missed the first drawing class, I gave them the handout to catch up on their own. After drawing the iguana with oil pastels, the children got busy painting with watercolors and used the techniques described in the booklet. This lesson takes two 45-minute art classes.

I love this lesson and do a variation of it every year. Didn’t my fourth graders do a lovely job?

Affiliate links are used in this post

Add this lesson to your tropical art activities! Download by clicking the yellow box below and we’ll send you this free PDF on how to draw tropical leaves and flowers.

Click here to subscribe

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Jayme

    So cute! I love watercolor resist; it always turns out so wonderfully. I am teaching high school and junior high at the moment, I hope to get back to elementary soon though and create some iguanas….

  • Ashley @ TheHillHangout

    Love this cute iguana! My girls like water color, so I’m pinning so we can put it on our lesson plan. Thanks for posting!

    • Patty


  • Chris

    i so love your lessons and have used and adapted many for my kids. I teach art through a grant for an after school Y program. Your lessons are always a hit. Many of the other leaders ask where I get my ideas. I always mention your site. I have one question. I have the hardest time teaching kids to not try to use watercolor like thick paint. I let the paint set up before putting it out and yet very few get the idea of keeping it transparent. I’d appreciate any tips you care to share. Thanks!

    • Patty

      Just refine your demonstration and talk briefly but thoroughly about the properties of watercolor. Also, you may want to try liquid watercolors as you simply won’t have this problem with this product. Trust me, you’ll LOVE them!

    • J.R. Cooper

      Make fixing the thick paint a lesson demonstration. When I see a kid putting the paint on so thick that I just know it’s going to dry sticky I stop the class, call everyone over and show them how to “Lift” the paint back off using a brush filled with clear water and a paper towel. Afterwards, I often see a lot of students going back to make sure that they’re lifting paint in places that are too heavy. Even if it’s already dried sticky you can still go back and fix it. It’s always correctable.

  • Charlene

    I love the use of salt on top of watercolor paint and drips of rubbing alcohol makes really awesome spots as well.

  • Kids Art

    These look great! You have to love a project that lets students use a variety of colors. I love their creativity.

  • Lisa Ricciardelli

    Hi! What brand of watercolors do you use int he pan?

  • Michelle Drost

    this homeschooling mama is sure loving your site. You’ve saved our home from boring art projects.
    my kids LOVE our new ART FRIDAYS! thanks for inspiring us 🙂

  • justine@orphanaction.org

    Hi – I am doing this project for a homeschool co-op next week. Can you tell me what the techniques are that I need the salt and tissue for – what are the instructions? Happy to pay for them – just couldn’t find a link with more details.



Follow Us

In stores 8/21


The {lesson_title} Lesson is Locked inside of the {bundle_title}

Unlocking this lesson will give you access to the entire bundle and use {points} of your available unlocks.

Are you sure?

No Yes

The {bundle_title} is Locked

Accessing this bundle will use {points} of your available unlocks.

Are you sure?

No Yes



The {lesson_title} Lesson is Locked inside of the {bundle_title}

To unlock this lesson, close this box, then click on the “lock” icon.