What kids don’t love dolphins?! After all, what’s not to love about cute, smiling creatures who are playful, intelligent, loyal, and wonderful swimmers? This easy to follow dolphin art project will help foster their love of these beautiful mammals. Don’t worry. You do not have to be an artist. Take heart. This super fun dolphin art project your kids will love and you will be able to join in right along with them. And if you do, the fun is multiplied!
Maybe you have some downtime and your kids are looking for an art project. Or, if you are like us, you are studying dolphins in science and you want to incorporate art into your science curriculum. But, you just don’t have the time to create something or shop for fancy art supplies. Well, this is just the art project for you!
This project will turn out great for kids of all ages. And you can reinforce the wonderful attributes of dolphins while you do art. Additionally, your kids will learn about watercolors and color composition without even realizing it!
Materials Needed for Dolphin Art:
1. White watercolor paper (it is important not to use regular white paper as it can tear easily with the watercolors)
3. Sharpie or another black pen
5. Cups of water
7. Paper towels
8. Step by step instructions on how to draw a dolphin
Directions for Dolphin Art:
1. Start with your paper horizontal on your work surface. Use a pencil to draw your dolphin following these easy steps. You may want to practice on regular white paper and then trace onto watercolor paper if you wish.
2. You will want to decide what you want your dolphin doing – is he porpoising over waves, is he vertically in the water, or is he swimming under the water? Maybe there are two dolphins together. Also, is he a river dolphin or an ocean dolphin? This will determine how you want to draw the rest of your picture.
3. Once you have made the above decisions, draw the water line and anything else you would like on your paper with a pencil.
4. When your scene is finished, trace over all your pencil with Sharpie or another black pen to have it stand out.
5. Next, start painting with watercolors! Remind your students to make sure they clean off their brushes cleanly before changing colors so that they don’t mix and turn brown. Also, they will need enough water to make the paint spread, but not too much so that it makes the paper really wet without much color.
6. Paint the dolphin(s) first and then the sky, ocean or river water, etc. You can add drops of water coming off your dolphin, white caps on the water, wind, sun, or whatever you would like to your painting (even if you haven’t created it with pencil first). Remind your kids it’s their art and each one will look different! Feel free to be creative with your colors.
7. Set your finished products out to dry.
Incorporating Art with Science
This art project works well with Apologia’s Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures (Lesson 2). But, it will work if you are simply studying mammals or marine life too. Believe it or not, doing this art can help bring science to life! While the paintings are drying, take a moment to discuss these amazing facts about dolphins:
-the anatomy of the dolphin (curved dorsal fin, fluke, streamlined body, beak)
-their lifestyle (social animals, mate for life, live in pods or herds)
-dolphin eating habits (hunters of halibut and other fish)
-their social habits (fish together and help each other out, communicate using sonar)
-where dolphins live (all over the world in the deep sea, near the coast, and even in some rivers)
-their scientific family (cetaceans, mammals, and members of the whale family who give live birth and nurse their young)
In these 8 simple steps, you will have wonderful dolphin art pieces that showcase God’s beautiful creation. And when you incorporate science into art, your kids most likely will remember what they learned even more. Dolphins are such amazing creatures of the sea. I hope your family loves this dolphin art project just as much as mine did!
Take heart, art can be fun and easy for all!