"The Little Island" Painting Art Lesson for Kids

Shades of blue paint

An art lesson for kids with Tempera Paint!

Students paint a storm, and learn to convey mood, drama and movement by use of a variety of brush strokes.

Vocabulary: stroke, movement, mood, silhouette, dimension, horizon


Faber-Castell Tempera Paint


Brushes–flat and round

Faber-Castell 9x12 Watercolor Paper

National Core Arts Standards:

Creating: # 2, 3

Presenting/Producing: #5, 6

Responding: #7, 8, 9

Connecting: #11

The Little Island, by Margaret Wise Brown and Leonard Weisgard

This 1947 Caldecott winner is a simple and charming story of a tiny island, along with all of its flora, fauna and weather, going through the beautiful changes of seasons, as told by the island itself. In painting a storm scene with the use of bold color and a variety of simple brush-strokes, students acquire confidence and ability to effectively evoke the feeling of intensity and drama in their own art.

Blue paint

1. Demonstrate to students how to mix blue, green and white to make an aqua. With about a 1-in. wide flat brush, loosely paint entire paper with back and forth horizontal strokes. Position a couple of light, almost white strokes 1/3 of the way down the paper.

Shades of blue paint

2. Draw a horizon line 1/3 of the way down. Experiment mixing blue, green and white to create various shades of color, the darkest shade being just blue and green. With a medium size round brush, paint clouds. Create a receding horizon effect by adding long, thin, light colored horizontal strokes below.

Shades of blue paint

3. Paint loose, simple, bold strokes to convey waves and swells in a dramatic, stormy way. Use medium tones of color. Pencil in the island on the horizon line.

Shades of blue paint

4. Silhouette the island in the darkest color. Add white foam to tops of waves and swells. Add dimension to foam with light shades of blue. With a smaller brush, add lines and choppy strokes of darks and lights to convey motion. Add white cloud detail and rain.

Download the entire lesson plan, here!

Artist Biography - Janis Doukakis


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