Friday, May 15, 2009

Silhouettes - Dinosaur Art Project #2

Here is another dinosaur art project that Kindergarten did this week. Silhouettes always look great and help with developing those scissor cutting skills.


watercolor paper, we used 90lb
tempera paint, we used the dry cakes
templates (links provided below)
black paper
pastel and/or chalk
glue stick

Tape off your watercolor paper onto your art board. Art boards are 1/4 inch thick pieces of masonite about 16 x 24. I get the Home depot staff to cut them for me for free from a big sheet.
1 large sheet = 12 boards..perfect size for the student desktop.

I always tape off any painting provides a nice mat edge for presentation.

Starting with yellow, paint a graduated wash for your background sky.

The order we used was yellow,orange,red,purple,blue and then a bit of black for the darkening sky.

While the paint still has some shine sprinkle on some coarse sea salt in the purple,blue,and black sections.

The salt reacts with the paint and causes a small bloom which in our case looks like stars in the distant sky.

Let dry.

I though this one turned out pretty looks like tornadoes coming down from a stormy sky...

Now using bluish black paint in some ground on the yellow end of your paper. I asked the kids to ensure they left some flat areas where the dinosaurs could stand.

You can see how that salt is causing those small blooms...

Let dry. When fully dry remove the carefully remove the tape.

Now you need to get the dinosaur templates, you can borrow mine


Print off can transfer them onto thin card to make tracers...this works well with a class.

Trace out your dinosaur shapes and cut out of the black paper. Glue onto your painting with the glue stick.

For some extra oomph I had the kids add streaming comets in the sky...they thought that was great...the whole "Doom of the Dinosaur" thing.

Well that's it for now...give it a try.

see you next time


  1. I do the watercolor sunset with either a city scape silhouette or trees. They look fun!!

  2. My kids would love this. They're pretty keen on dinosaurs (which child isn't?). Thanks.

  3. this looks like so much fun! I love your site and I think my soon to be 3rd grader and I will have lots of fun trying some of your art projects this summer! THanks :))

  4. agradeceria la traduccion de los tutoriales al espaƱol.Muchas gracias.

  5. are you using large watercolor paints in that photo or dry tempera?

  6. I did the dinosaur project with my kinders and 2 grader. 2nd grader made 3'd dinos with a cut outs,rolled cottonball glued on and painted. We also put plastic wrap on the background paper to dry. It came out great. Your site is amazing. Everyday I find something awesome. Thank you! You are so talented. I also did your tissue mountains and I am currently working on the easter diaromas ( A little fragile though)

  7. I was looking for dino silhouettes and stumbled on your site! Thanks for the templates. Love your site, look forward to browsing through it :)

  8. Hi Gail! I'm Silvia, an italian teacher in the primary school, in a 3rd grade.
    I want to say thank you for sharing your projects...Sometimes your posts inspired me for some work of mine...and I want to show you one of these:
    Thanks a lot!!!
    Have a good weekend and many blessings!!!

  9. Thank you so much! I made it with my Second Grade class today...they were in LOVE. :) We can't wait to see the final project. We used watercolor instead( didn't have the tempera cakes) and it's coming out AMAZING.

  10. I love this idea and will be doing it with my students! Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas! I'm a science teacher but I always try to incorporate art whenever I can!
    Science for Kids Blog

  11. How cool! Thank you!

  12. This is wonderful and beautiful! My son's school is doing an Art Walk in March and I'm hoping we can do this project with his class. I'm so glad I found your blog! (It was via Pinterest if you're curious.) Thanks.

  13. Thank you. I did this with my class of 4 and 5 year olds. We painted the background but they painted their landscape and glued on their dinosaurs. I wish I could share the photo with you. We have had many compliments from other teachers in the school on how stunning they look.

  14. Our Story Painters down at Custom House Library LOVED doing this craft today! It's always so nice when everyone creates something that is worthy of display and that they are proud of. Fantastic idea! (you can see the photos of their creations on our facebook page - i'm pretty impressed!) Thanks.

  15. Thank you for this great idea! It's Dinosaur week at Art camp. The kids will love it!