This amazing koala painting project was inspired by one of our favorite collage artists, Pete Cromer.
Prepare to be overwhelmed by koala cuteness!
This lesson was primarily an instructed drawing project, with the goal of learning about tint and tone + thick brush strokes. We started by walking students through a step by step basic shape drawing to create the koala’s overall head and shoulder shape. We used light gray or silver oil pastel to draw.
We gave students two shades of gray tempera + silvery watercolor paint, white, and a dot of black paint to mix their tints and tones. To create contrast between the different parts of the body, we instructed them to paint one area of the body at a time, starting with white and working from light to dark. At this point, everyone was cautioned not to use black until the very end! We demonstrated how to apply their paint with thick brush strokes to allow for blending and shading.
To make their koalas “come alive”, we demonstrated how there is usually a small light reflection in the eye. Students used the back of a paint brush to apply one or two dots of white paint to the black pupil portion of the eye.
As a final step, students collaged small neon painted papers and scrapbook papers as decorative details.