Art for Kids: How to Draw and Watercolor Paint an Elephant | Em Winn | Skillshare

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Art for Kids: How to Draw and Watercolor Paint an Elephant

teacher avatar Em Winn, Teacher, Art Instructor, Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (14m)
    • 1. Introduction and Supplies Needed for This Project

    • 2. Step 1: Draw an Elephant

    • 3. Step 2: Paint the Elephant

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About This Class

Are you looking for a watercolor painting project for your child?

Would you like an experienced art teacher teaching your child?

The Elephant Watercolor Art Project may be just what you are looking for! Designed with beginners in mind, this project is perfect for children ages 5+.

There are two steps in this art project:

  • Step 1: Draw an Elephant
  • Step 2: Paint the Elephant With Watercolor Paints

The teaching process used for the drawing portion of the project is a kid-tested, step-by-step method that will both inspire and delight your child into drawing action! This process involves organizing shapes and lines together until a recognizable outcome is achieved.

After students complete the drawing portion of their project, they will move onto painting the project. Students will learn basic watercolor techniques and apply these techniques to complete their project. This project is designed to give young children the tools they need to begin their artistic journey into self-expression, reflection, and creative thinking.

Supplies and materials needed for this project:

Let's start creating!

Meet Your Teacher

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Em Winn

Teacher, Art Instructor, Artist


Hi. My name is Em Winn and teaching art to children is what I love to do! I pride myself on creating dynamic, meaningful, and engaging art lessons that are taught in a relaxing and joyful way. I have over 20 years teaching experience in the elementary classroom and in the art studio, and I feel that I have a good grasp on how to create a learning environment that makes children feel happy, motivated, confident, and successful. Let the creative fun begin!

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1. Introduction and Supplies Needed for This Project: Hi, friends. How are you? I hope you're having a great day today. Today we will be creating this elephant artwork. And I'm really excited about this project because I do love elephants. Elephants are wise, They're very family oriented and they're just super cute. They're very hard workers as well. I'd like to go over the supplies ended materials that you will need for this project. The first thing that you'll need is paper. I use a watercolor paper. It's a thick paper that holds water, color, paint and water. Very well. If you do not have watercolor paper available to you, that's okay. Just use any thick paper the next thing that you'll need or watercolor paints. I like to use a set like this because it has a lot of different color options. Another thing that you'll need is clean water and a paintbrush. This paintbrush is pretty big. You do not need a paintbrush this big if you don't have one available to you. But if you do, go ahead and use it. Another thing that you'll need are some Kranz or some oil pastels. Either one will work just fine for this particular project. I used oil pastels. Another thing that you will need is a handy dandy paper towel. We can use this for cleanups if you spill something, or if you have a little bit of extra water or paint on your painting, you can dab it and soak up a little bit of the pain or the water. The last thing you'll need is a mat to go underneath your artwork to make sure that you keep your workspace clean. So that's it. I'm looking forward to this lesson, and I'll see in a minute. 2. Step 1: Draw an Elephant: hi friends. So let's get started creating our Elefant. The first thing that you want to do is you will want to decide on the color of your crayon or your oil pastel. I'm going to use oil pastel, and I'm going to choose a blue for our Elefant. If you'd like to choose any other color, that is absolutely fine. So if you'd like to use yellow or red or orange, whatever you like to use is just fine. What we're going to do is we're going to create our elephant on this piece of paper and we're going to make him nice and big. Okay, so his face is going to be big, and then his body is going to be behind his face and it's going to be big as well. All right, so let's get started. What we're going to do is create his face first and his trunk. So we're going to go to the top part of our piece of paper and we are going to make an upside down letter C just like this. Wow, that's pretty big. That's what we want. All right, After we make our upside down letter, see what we're going to do down here is create a trunk. So what I'd like you to do is take this end and this end and bring it in a little bit more , bring each end in a little bit more, and then we're going to curve this line and curve this line like this, and that's going to be the top part of her trunk. Now, after we have this part done, we're going to go down just a little bit straight straight, and then when we get to the bottom, we're going to come up with a little you and come up with another little you both upside down. Now we're going to close those up with a wide letter you that's going to be the tip of his trunk. All right, let's go back up to hiss face to his head area and let's make his ears So his ears are coming out the sides at the top and they're just going to be some curve lines coming out on each side. Whips. I just went off my paper. That's okay. No problem. I'm going to pretend like I came out this way and then I'm calming back in. Okay. And with this one, I could just come right back in just like that. Sometimes when you aren't creating artwork, this type of thing will happen just like it happened with me. No problem at all. I think it actually looks kind of cool. Now, what we're going to Dio is we're going to go down to the body for our Elefant and her body is just going to be a shape that looks like this. It's almost like a soft square. So you come down soft edges and then come back up. Okay? So again, you come down from the cheek, you curve around straight now curved back up and end back up at his other cheek. Now what we're going to Dio is we're going to create his legs and his feet, so they have very boxy and wide legs and feet. They have to carry a lot of weight around. So we're just going to make little squarish type shapes that are soft in the angles. Okay, behind these, you're going to make his back feet The way that you do that is you just go like that with some little lines coming down and then going back in for his toes. I don't know if you've ever seen elephants toes, but when I've been to the zoo and I have seen toes, they look like this. They're upside down. Use like this. Lips. My oil pastel got a little bit stuck so they're upside down. Use like this. Now let's go back up to his trunk. There's something that we need to put on this trunk to give it a little bit more detail. We need to put a few lines, so maybe two or three lines, and then what we're going to Dio is we're going to go back up to his face and we're going to make some eyes that are on each side of his head. Instead of using blue, though I think I'm going to switch my color two black. So I'm going to make wide set eyes like this nice and dark. I like that. And if you like to put eyelashes on, that would be fine as well. I'm just going to keep my eyes like that now. If there's anything else you'd like to add to your elephant, now would be the time to do it. I think I'm going to leave my elephant just like this because I really like the way that he looks. Oh, whips. I forgot one thing. I forgot his tail. Elephants have surprisingly small tales. So I'm going to go either to this side or this side. And I'm going to make a small tail, which is a curve line, curve line and kerf line coming out like that. So it's kind of like his tail is showing from you're looking at him from the front, and it's sticking out so you can see it. All right. I think that's it. So what? I'm going to do the next video. We're gonna come back and we are going to start. Peattie. I'll see in a minute. 3. Step 2: Paint the Elephant: Hi, friends. Okay, What we're going to do now is we're going to start painting our elephants. Keep in mind this is not a realistic Elefant. He is more of a cartoon, a made up elefant, so you could paint him any colors that you like. If you'd like to paid him green and yellow, that would be fine. Elephants are usually more of like a grayish your brownish color. But for our elephants, we could make them nice and bright colors if we'd like. What I'm going to do is I am going to choose green and blue to paint my elephant. So what? I'm going to dio first before I do. Anything else is I am going to wake up my paints. The way that I do that is I put a drop or two of water inside each of the pain pans that I'm thinking about using. That way the paint will have a chance toe to wake up and be ready for us to use. So as I said before, I'm going to start using green and blue. So I'm going to use this green Look at that. Keep in mind if the color comes out darker than you were expecting. And you'd like it to be a little bit lighter. All you need to do is add a little bit more water. In that way, it will lighten up a little bit. Remember, Also, it's important to push your paint around. Make sure that you are not going over and over the same area. It's important to push that pate around. So I think I'm going to green down here because I like my elephant to be a combination of blue and green. Is it okay if I go over my line a little bit? Yes, it ISS. That's no problem at all. So I'm going to also make his ears green. Just like that. A little bit more water on there. There we go. I really like how my elephant looks. Go down to the little tootsies down here. There we go. Now, let me show you something. Do you see how there's a lot of water right here? What I think I'm going to do is I'm going to pick up some of that water with my handed Andy paper towel because I think it's a little bit too much water, so I'd like to take my handed, Andy paper tell and touch it very, very gently. Just like that. Not a whole bunch. Just a little tiny bit. There's another area right over here on his ear. Maybe here on his body. Perfect. Okay, so what I'm going to do next is I'm going to make a decision on what colors I'd like to use for my background. I think that I am going to use Mm. Probably a purple. I think purple would really look really, really nice. So I'm going to use this purple right here. And I'm just going to start at the top. Who isn't that nice? Isn't that a nice purple? Keep in mind. If you touch your elephant while it's still wet, the colors will go into your background. See how that's happening. A little bit right here. That's okay with me. Some people like to keep their colors, their paint colors inside their elephants. So if you would like to do that, you have to be super duper careful. Maybe even let your artwork dry a little bit before you start painting. See here. Down on the toes. I'm letting this area dry a little bit before I start painting the toes because I want to make sure that the tobe color does not spread out into the other areas on my painting. So I'm going to speed up this video a little bit and I'll meet you back here in just about a minute. You can either get started or you can watch me speed paint because I'm really fast at it. Here I go already. Friends, I'm back. I'm really happy with the way that my painting looks. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to go back and I'm going to paint my elephants toes. I like my elephants toes to be orange. So what I'm going to Dio is I'm going to dry off my paintbrush. And the reason why I'm going to do that is because I want to make sure I don't have a lot of water on here. The more water I have on here, the more the water is likely to spread out into the other colors. So I'm going to take a tiny, tiny bit of orange so time you might not even be able to see it. And I'm going to carefully paint and my elephants toes with orange orange watercolor page. See how careful I'm being on that Going slowly, carefully. So I do my best work. If your paintbrush is smaller than mine, that's probably a good thing for this particular area. I did it, though. I did it and I'm really happy with that. So I hope you enjoy this lesson and I look forward to seeing you next time by