I've been following Patty Palmer's blog, Deep Space Sparkle, for years. Her kid-friendly art tutorials are wonderful. I finally got a chance to check out her book, Draw, Paint, Sparkle (affiliate link here and below) and it is just as fabulous as I expected.
The first part of the book talks about Patty's approach to art, the materials she recommends for use with children, and the value of holding art shows that feature children's work. The second part of the book has instructions to make 25 inspiring projects. They are divided into three categories: Beginnings, Inspired by the Masters, and Inspired by Nature. I chose her Watercolor Seal project to make, but gave it my own twist. While her project uses pastels and liquid watercolor to paint a seal, I used crayons and pan watercolors to make a California sea lion.
I'm a big fan of sea lions. We see them almost every time we go to San Francisco. They're playful, intelligent... and noisy! You can tell that I've painted a sea lion (rather than a seal) because of the visible ear flaps. You can also tell that I've painted either an adult female or a juvenile, as they are slim and tan in color. Adult males are larger and darker in color.
California Sea Lion Watercolor
Use a black crayon to draw two eyes near the middle of the page. Add a nose and a mouth, then draw an upside down U to make the head. Add freckles, whiskers, and ear flaps (just noticed I took the photo below before drawing the ear flaps).
With the blue crayon, draw a horizon line. Stop when you get to the seal lion, lift the crayon, and resume on the other side of the head. Draw lines for waves beneath the horizon line.
Use the green (or golden) crayon to draw gentle hills in the background.
Paint the sea lion brown. The crayon lines should help keep the paint from spreading into the other sections.
Paint the sky next; this will give the sea lion a few moments to dry. Paint the ocean, then the hills. California's hills are a sage green during the winter and golden during the summer. My hills are green, so this is a wintertime painting.
Like I said, this is just one of 25 fabulous projects in the book Draw, Paint, Sparkle. I definitely recommend it for kids or for the parents/teachers who do art with kids!