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5th Grade Oil Pastel Owls

I have loved watching my 5th graders study and draw these amazing owls. They drew from a photograph, part of our "drawing from observation" unit. I don't usually do drawing from photos, and I would have rather been at the zoo drawing, but this is the next best thing!

  We started with a pre-pencil drawing on white paper, just a warm up.

 They then drew their owl on black paper with white chalk.

I showed them how to blend colors and overlap light and darks.

I encouraged them (bribed?) to please fill in ALL of their background. Realistic or fantasy.

They were constantly reminded to look at the photographs for details.

They were also free to add in creative touches and make the bird and background their own. 

Some looked to warm and cool colors for their inspiration.

Others imagined what could be in the picture with the owl.

Every child's was special.

 Each of them had their own personality.

I loved how they showed a change in value with the oil pastels.

 Some students kept the owl's colors realistic, what they saw in the photograph.

Some artists expanded on what they saw in the photograph.

We are making clay owls next! Can't wait!


  1. Marla,

    Thank you so much for sharing! I just stumbled upon your blog (I am an elementary art teacher in Michigan), and your students' work is beautiful as well as your own artwork. How long did it take for the students to complete their owl drawings?

    Thanks again,

  2. Those turned out beautiful. I love how each one is so different.

  3. These are absolutely amazing! I can't wait to see the ceramic version.

  4. These owls are amazing!!! I love all of the different styles!

  5. These are fantastic! I think my middle schoolars would love this . I especially like the composition with the background.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. These are stunning. Love love love how they're all different!

  7. They look fantastic! I love how they are all unique. How many lessons did this take?

  8. That is beautiful!

  9. The owls are stunning, and so each background!
    Just made owls to in my class, but these are great!

  10. These are lovely. I, too, am thrilled at how different is each drawing. jan

  11. Beautiful owls! And I enjoyed reading your descriptions too:)

  12. Your students did an excellent job incorporating a variety of lines in their design.

    The colors are beautiful

  13. Nice Ideas...Thank you your blog n now following you for new ideas.

    Please visit here to see my ART

  14. Hi there! I am sending you the Versatile Blogger Award! Congrats & Thank you for all your amazing ideas and lessons!
    Check my website out for more details!

    Candice ( )

  15. Hello,
    I spent also a lot of time watching your nice arts. Keep up the good works. Thank you.

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  16. Hello,
    I spent also a lot of time watching your nice arts. Keep up the good works. Thank you.

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  17. I spent also a lot of time watching your nice arts.Keep up the good works. Thank you. Inkjet Paper


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