Wise Eyes Watching

These beautiful owls are now perched up high on our our bulletin boards – wise eyes watching us:

 Wise Eyes Watching There's a Book for That

Inspired by this wonderful post on the art blog A Glimmer of Light, we created these gorgeous owls. Here is our process.

First, we drew with oil pastel directly onto black construction paper (no pencil marks first!) – thinking about the shapes of the body, eyes, wings, talons and added a fancy crown. Students then began colouring in the owls with oil pastels, creating patterns and textures.

 Wise Eyes Watching There's a Book for That

After about 20 minutes of work time, most children were at this stage: shapes drawn and quite a bit of colouring and design complete.

 Wise Eyes Watching There's a Book for That

On Day 2, we just had another short amount of work time so our goal was to finish adding colour to our owls and to outline important lines.

 Wise Eyes Watching There's a Book for That

On Day 3, we broke out the chalk pastels and added bright and beautiful backgrounds with swirls and stripes. Students were encouraged to not use more than 4 different colours.

 Wise Eyes Watching There's a Book for That

Many students helped with background colouring so that we could all complete our masterpieces to have them ready to post up in the room.

 Wise Eyes Watching There's a Book for That

Final step was to outline any lines that had blurred at the edges of the owls into the chalk pastel background and these stunning owls were ready!

 Wise Eyes Watching There's a Book for That

Some students even wrote a little bit to share about their process or about who their owl might be . . . . Check out our classroom blog Curiosity Racers to read about what was shared and to see some more images!

Owls all around

Busy little artists in Division 5 have continued to work hard to fill our room with gorgeous owl art to inspire us all to be wise and thoughtful!

This project was inspired by The Snowy Owl Art Project on the amazing art blog Deep Space Sparkle. We benefited from the wonderful photos and step by step instructions! This blog is fantastic for art ideas!  We used different background colours to capture the feeling of fall nights and amazing late afternoon skies that happen as we move from fall to winter.

Step by step, went like this:

1. We painted our background either orange or yellow and then added white paint spatter and drops to represent a blustery sky

2. We added the body of the owl (a circle for the head, a big filled in U for the body, wings and ears) We then let the paint dry overnight.

3. Our next art class was all about adding the finishing touches. Basically transforming some white blobs on a background into fantastically personable owls! First students added a branch for the owl to stand on, big eyes and a beak. Then they switched to fine brushes and outlined all of their original shapes in black paint.

4. With black paint, students added legs, pupils, branch details and feathers for the owls (using little “u” strokes)

Finished projects are wonderful! You can’t help but feel joyful with these owls looking at you.

Our bulletin boards are now full of owls perched on branches watching us!

These owls join our other owls in the classroom (follow this link) . As we grow wiser each day, we appreciate the wisdom that surrounds us!

Wisdom all around us

Our art project this week was all about owls! We have decided to fill our classroom with gorgeous owl art so that wise old owls can perch up on our bulletin boards and look down at us learning and growing wiser each day! Kind of a wisdom every where you look scenario!

I got the idea for this art project on the wonderful art blog Deep Space Sparkle in a post that highlighted a number of owl inspired art projects.

We completed this project over two art classes. Day one was drawing and painting and day two colouring a backdrop and adding our owls to our night time scene. Step by step directions follow:

Step 1: Everyone drew an owl on light coloured construction paper after we did a guided drawing lesson about how owls look (think about the tucked in wings, the large eyes, the talons, etc)

I love how each owl had personality just in a pencil drawing!

Step 2: We began painting using just these colours: white, yellow, brown and black.

Students added spots and stripes and played with blending colours.

Fully painted owls looked striking! Details on the wings look like multicoloured feathers.

Step 3: Cut out the owls

Step 4: On black construction paper we drew a tree trunk and branch, stars and a moon (if desired) and attached our owl into the scene.

We only used yellow, brown, black and red/orange oil pastels for our backdrop.

Wishing everyone a very wise fall in their classrooms! 

Owl Moon and inspired Owl Artists

One of my favourite books to read aloud in the cold dark days leading up to winter is Owl Moon, the 1988 Caldecott Medal winner written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by John Schoenherr. This book fits in with our theme of Courage that we are exploring through various picture books but also allowed us to have a wonderful springboard for some gorgeous owl art.

A little girl goes owling with her father for the very first time and we, the readers, get to creep along with this pair over hard packed snow illuminated by the moon. We breathe the cold air, feel our own cheeks burn and marvel at the wonderful sound of crying out “Whoo-whoo-whowho-who-whoooo,” and then feeling the silence (heavy and full of wonder) surround us. Yolen’s text is poetic and the illustrations magical. A treat for the senses! When an owl is finally discovered, all of us gasped at the huge wing span and bright yellow eyes depicted in the pictures. A gorgeous book and one I never tire of reading with a class.

We discussed why the little girl in the picture was so courageous even though she was out on a dark night deep in the forest. Some insightful suggestions from the group:

  • She was too excited to feel fear
  • Being with her Dad made her feel safe and secure
  • Watching and listening for the owl distracted her
  • She pushed her fear away because she was doing something (going owling) that she had been waiting a long time to do

After the story, Ms. Gelson led a mini “how to draw an owl” lesson inspired by this wonderful blog post from Art Lessons for Kids.

And wow, did students get engaged with making beautiful owl scenes to fill up our room!

First we drew owls on plain paper and added details and colour. Hailey did a lovely job of filling up her whole page with an adorable looking owl and baby.


Catriona drew her owl in flight!


Some owls seemed to be waiting to jump into a picture book as the main character of an exciting story. Purity‘s owl is very dramatic.


Students then cut out their owl (s) and glued them to black paper making a scene. Khai made a whole family of owls perched on a branch.


Carefully positioning owls on the page.


Sergio was very clear that his owl was pregnant and put an awaiting nest on the branch. Many debates began whether an owl could be pregnant if it lay eggs. Some people thought an owl should be called “ready to lay eggs” and not pregnant. Sergio made it clear he liked his idea best and made a label on his picture pointing to the owl’s belly “pregnent” 🙂


Truman made lightly grey owls with beautiful ear tufts. Striking against the black background and yellow moon.