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Level: Junior, Middle School
Grades: 3 - 8| Age: 8 - 14 yrs | Written by: Elisa Michael
[Elisa is head of the Art Department, Calvary Baptist Day School, Winston-Salem, NC]

Students will create an original crayon resist painting of a bug's life.


  1. Create an original crayon resist painting of a bug's life
  2. Choose 1 or more bugs to draw in composition
  3. Simplify objects into simple shapes, forms, and patterns
  4. Draw objects with spontaneity and imagination
  5. Plan and organize composition
    1. Space the bugs out across the paper
    2. Vary the sizes of the bugs (small, medium, huge)
    3. Vary the placement of the bugs. Have some bugs turned in different directions.
    4. Plan out a background environment for their bugs (e.g. picnic table, leafs, grass, flowers, repeating the patterns on bugs in the background)
    5. Use scale in composition (grass and flowers will be much larger from a bug's perspective)

  6. Outline pencil drawings in black sharpie marker
  7. Color in compositions with crayon using heavy pressure.
  8. Limit number of colors and repeat colors throughout composition
  9. Brush watercolor paint over the top of finished composition.

What You Need:
What You Do:

Instructional Time:

Class Session 1: Introduction to project. Discuss how to plan out compositions (types of bugs, sizes and placement of bugs on the paper, possible bug environments, use of scale). Demonstrate how to draw bugs by simplifying the shapes and patterns of bugs and other objects. Emphasize to students that their composition needs to fill up most of the page.

Class Session 2: Students will outline their entire drawings in black sharpie marker. Discuss crayon coloring procedures (using heavy pressure, repeating colors, limiting number of colors used).

Class Session 3-4: Review of coloring procedures.

Class Session 5: Discuss crayon resist procedure. Demonstrate how to paint with watercolors over finished compositions using 1 or more colors.

Independent Practice:

Class Session 1: Students will begin drawing bugs life compositions using pencil.

Class Session 2: Students will finish drawings and outline them with black sharpie marker. Students will begin coloring in compositions with crayon.

Class Session 3-4: Students will continue coloring in compositions.

Class Session 5: Students will finish coloring. Students will paint with watercolors over the top of their finished compositions.


Ask students how they planned out their compositions. Encourage students to name their bugs or make up a story about their bug's life pictures.

More Photos

Recommended Books/Products:

Draw Insects
Step-by-step drawing lessons for over 80 insects and other creepy crawlies such as millipedes, ticks, and spiders are featured in this carefully constructed drawing book.

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