I remember making these under the sea pictures when I was a child. A wash of watercolor over a crayon drawing lends itself perfectly to an underwater painting. It is always a delight to see how the watercolor resists the waxy area on the paper, and how the picture turns out when all is said and done.
First I had my son draw creatures, plants and objects that he might find under the surface of the ocean. I encouraged him to press hard with the crayon, and to color in the objects.
My son referred to the tutorials in my favorite drawing book "Let's Draw Animals" by Ann Davidow, when drawing some of his sea creatures. This gem of a book is still available through Amazon here.
I also found the Hello Kids website which has many easy step-by-step tutorials on drawing sea animals as well as other kinds of animals.
I decided to draw my own picture alongside of him. I could tell by his energy that he really enjoyed his mama partaking in the activity rather than just directing it. That felt so good to me, and I made a mental note to "draw" more often with him. I made inquiries about my drawing out loud to stimulate his thought about ocean life. "Hmmm, I wonder what I would find at the bottom of the ocean. What should I draw?" He came up with creative answers, yet accurate, "volcanoes, anchors, seaweed". I taught him some facts that I know about the ocean, such as:
- In some places you might find coral at the bottom of the ocean. Some corals are hard, like a rock, but it really is a plant, and as such it breathes in carbon dioxide and lets out oxygen which we need to breathe.
- Male seahorses give birth, not the females, as in most species.
- Fish can't close their eyes, because they have no eyelids
- An octopus can squirt out a dark ink to escape from predators
- Blue whales are the biggest living animal in the world — they weigh as much as 30 elephants put together
After he was done drawing his ocean scene, I then had him paint a wash of blue watercolor over the paper. He was thrilled with this part.
This is a fun, easy and highly gratifying craft. I recommend it to kids of all ages (even the grown-up kind)!
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