Mixed Media Lions

When Steve and I went on our anniversary trip to Napa, we made a brief stop at Whole Foods to browse.  At the front of the store, just inside the entrance, was a large display of children's artwork.  I love looking at artwork, especially children's artwork, and it is a rare treat to find it in a grocery store.  I was especially drawn to these mixed media lions, made by Ms. Hattyar's K-2nd graders.  

Trevor and I were inspired to make our own version.  We gathered watercolor paper, acrylic paint, a paintbrush, a pencil, a Sharpie, cardstock, scissors, and glue.

The first step was to fill one piece of watercolor paper with a thick layer of tans, yellows, oranges, and reds, blending and mixing the colors as we painted.


Next, we put our second pieces of watercolor paper onto clipboards and headed to the computer.  We brought up an article about lions, looked carefully at their facial features, and then sketched based on what we saw.  I hadn't realized that the 'whites' of their eyes are actually golden in color.  Nor had I realized that their ears are rounded like a teddy bear's.  

When we were happy with our sketches, we returned to the table and traced over our pencil lines with a Sharpie.  

Here's mine.  

And here's Trevor's.  

We watered down the acrylic paint to add color to our drawings- brown for the face and golden for the eyes.  

By then, our first painting had dried.  We cut the paper into narrow strips, then fanned them out and glued them to a piece of tan cardstock.  This was tedious.  

The final step was to cut out the lion's face and glue it on top of the mane.  Here's my lion:

And here's Trevor's.  

While we're both happy with how they turned out, we agree that they might look better with fuller manes.  The piece of watercolor paper we used wasn't big enough to make a fuller mane.  Next time!   


  1. These are AWESOME!!!!! And I didn't know they had rounded ears either!!! I always assumed that they were like cats!

  2. Amazing. Beautiful, creative projects. Both versions look terrific.

  3. Oooh...soooo cute! I love how you got inspired and came home to work on a project together...it must be fun to hang out with you guys!:)


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