Art Lesson Plan: Textured Animals - Drawing from Life

Stuffed Animal Still Life

Submitted by: Tara Lightle, Cedar Hills Elementary
UNIT: Texture and Color
Lesson: Textured Animals - Stuffed Animal Still Life
Grade Level: Elementary (examples are fifth grade)
Time: 2 Hours


Objectives: Students will

  • Use observational drawing skills to draw stuffed animal

  • Create simulated textures using oil pastels

  • Use warm and cool colors to create highlights and shadows

  • Learn how master artists show textures and show highlight and shadow


Students could select a background pattern from a wallpaper book.


See IAD's Animals in Art & Animal Symbolism



12x18 (30.5 x 46 cm) Construction Paper. (I use blue)
Oil Pastels.
White Chalk.
Kneaded Rubber Erasers.
Stuffed animals


Still Life
Warm colors/Cool colors
Horizon Line


1 2



Students will have an opportunity to bring in their own fuzzy stuffed animals. The teacher should have a few on hand too. Students may also share animals during the project if they forgot theirs. Start by talking about the fur they see and comparing the animals. Is there an animal with longer fur? Shorter? Curly? How would you show that on your paper? Are there some places that there is no fur? How would you draw that differently?


Before or after the art making look at examples of animals in art. Browse Artcyclopedia (search keyword Animals - and various individual animals) for images of animals in art. Make a PowerPoint. Discuss how artists show highlight and shadow. Some very good examples of lions can be found as well as horses. Shorewood and Art Image Publications have prints of animals in art for you to display. You might also want to talk about subjective color - introduce Franz Marc - and let students be creative with color - still showing highlight and shadow.



  1. Talk to students about sitting the stuffed animal in the position that they are going to draw it. They are creating a still life. Once they start drawing they will not want anyone to move the animal because that will change the drawing.

  2. Have them sketch the animal in a light colored chalk. If they make a mistake they can easily erase. When they sketch they should be looking at the contours or the shapes of the animal- not the texture.

  3. After sketching in chalk they will begin filling in the animal with little lines showing the fur. (What does texture sound like? Tell students that you should hear tapping as they work)

  4. When demonstrating coloring the animals, begin talking to students about mixing colors. If the main color of the animal is brown and they don’t use other colors as they fill in the fur, their animals will become big blobs. Tell them to imagine light hitting the animal, because the animals are not flat there will be a light side and a dark side to everything. Use warm colors mixed in with the main color on the side that the light hits. Use cool colors on the shaded side.

  5. Make sure on parts that are not furry (eyes, nose, shadow underneath animal) texture lines are not used. Instead, those areas are colored in smooth.

  6. Students can create a table line. Then put a shadow under their animal, coloring solidly the table and background with warm and cool colors.

  7. Class Critique.


  1. Did students use observational drawing skills in drawing the stuffed animals?

  2. Did students use warm and cool colors to show highlights and shadows?

  3. Did students create the simulated fur textures of the animals?

Sample Rubric:


Project: Textured Animals - Oil Pastels


Name_____________________________ Date ___________ Class __________




Mastery – 3 pts

Advancing – 2 pts

Novice – 1 pt


Developing skills at grade level – Shows growth - takes risks to discover

I produce high quality, creative work. I show originality and take risks to learn new.

Understanding and application of Art Concepts and lesson objectives

I apply all art concepts, especially those stressed for the project. I solve problems myself.

Participation and effort

I always participate in class and always use class time well

Use and care of Materials

I used all materials appropriately with no reminders. I always clean up


I always follow all classroom rules and never cause a classroom disturbance. I am always helpful.

S+=15-11 S=10-6 NI=5-0 Total


Art Concept (s):

Artists use warm colors to show highlights and cool colors to show shadows. A still life is a composition of objects from everyday life. Artists use various strokes to simulate textures.


Lesson Objectives: Students will

  • Use observation skills in drawing animal

  • Use warm colors to show highlights/cool colors to show shadows

  • Create the illusion of texture using various strokes

Teacher’s comments:


Parent Signature: _____________________________________ Date______________


National Standards (Standards covered will depend on how much discussion you have)


1. Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

2. Using knowledge of structures and functions

5. Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

Students know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes

Students know the differences among visual characteristics and purposes of art in order to convey ideas

Students understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art

Students describe how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses

Students describe how different expressive features and organizational principles cause different responses

Students describe how people's experiences influence the development of specific artworks

Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories

Students use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas

Students understand there are different responses to specific artworks

Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner




National Visual Arts Standards Courtesy of Kennedy ArtsEdge



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