Supplies: watercolor paper, pencils, erasers, black sharpies, colored pencils (you could also use colored sharpies, crayons or pastels), watercolor paints, salt (optional)
1. First, I led the class through a how to draw an elephant on watercolor paper. We used pencils to start and drew light, erasing as needed. DRAW LIGHT UNTIL YOU GET IT RIGHT is the mantra for my art room.
2. We looked at pictures of Indian elephants (some are grey and some are brown) and talked about the designs and patterns painted on them for celebrations in India. You can go as culturally deep with this as you like, there is a lot of great information. Students drew their own patterns and designs on the elephants.
3. When everything was drawn, I gave them a black sharpie to go over their designs. We erased any pencil marks that did not line up with our sharpie lines.
4. Next, we colored in the patterns - ONLY THE PATTERNS - on the elephants with colored pencils, but in the past I’ve used colored sharpies, crayons, and oil pastels.
5. Lastly, we used watercolor paints to paint the elephant’s skin, the ground, and the sky. Some students chose to sprinkle salt on their sky or grass. I thought it looked great for the elephants skin. For the salt effect to work, you must sprinkle the salt while the watercolor is nice and juicy on the paper, and brush it off only after it has dried completely. If it goes on too thick, it will not brush off. But this is just a “happy accident” as now their art has texture.
This project takes about 45min to an hour. Have fun!