When I taught Art at a private Christian School, I would do this lesson every year just before Easter with my first graders. This is one of those projects where the results are totally charming and everyone feels successful.… and the parents love them!!
The idea for these adorable watercolor sheep came from a set of Usborne Activity Cards — “50 Things to Draw & Paint”. I tweaked it just a little and added the text down the side. I use every opportunity to encourage students to practice drawing lightly with their pencils, and this is another great time to do that!
1. Lightly draw a few guidelines for whatever text you choose to write on the left side of your paper. Then add your lettering. (Explain that “guidelines” and any drawing intended to be traced over are always drawn lightly so you can either erase or hide the pencil lines later.)
2. Decide how many sheep you want in your pasture and lightly draw a curvy, horizontal line where you would like each of them to stand.
3. Next, lightly draw a horizontal oval shape a little bit above each of these lines for your sheep’s bodies. Draw the sun in the sky. Now you can put your pencil away!
4. With a white crayon or oil pastel, color in each sheep’s body, pressing hard and filling in the oval shape.
5. Now, switch to a black crayon or oil pastel and trace over your lettering, the sun, and curvy ground lines. Remember to press hard so your crayon will resist the paint later on! Add some grass here and there, and add legs, heads and tails to your sheep. This is also the time to sign your name with black crayon!
6. The final step is to add a watercolor wash over your whole paper. Be sure to work with plenty of water so your colors will blend and you’ll get some nice, soft edges. Vary the colors in your grass using green mixed with yellow in some places and green mixed with blue in others.
We usually do this lesson on 9x12 paper, but sometimes we fold a piece of 12x18 paper in half so that this painting becomes the front of a beautiful Easter card. This is a project that is likely to be saved forever!!