Swan Lake

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Looking at a picture of a peaceful, elegant swan puts me in a pensive mood. I’ve made a PowerPoint of works by an artist called Stuchie. He is a minister who says art is artistic therapy for him. I want to do this project with the 3rd grade, but the classroom doesn’t have the equipment to show the PowerPoint, so I picked out one picture to make an example and will have the kids make a swan picture. We’re using oil pastels on black paper for this project. Draw the swan on the black paper with white oil pastel or chalk. Or,— I have included a rough sketch of a swan for anyone who wants a bit of help making a sample. I colored the back of the sketch with white crayon and used a stylus (old ball point pen) to trace the swan on my black paper. The PowerPoint takes about a minute to load.


  • Stuchie Art (PowerPoint)
  • Black construction paper
  • Oil pastels
  • White chalk
  • Swan sketch (Pattern)
  • Typing paper for sketch copy
  • Stylus or old ball point pen


  1. Use the Stuchie swan picture as a guide. I found that it works well to start the swan by having the students draw a large number “2” on their paper. You can see it exagerated in a few of the pictures below, but that seemed to make it easiest for them to get started.
  2. With white chalk, make a horizontal line across the paper at about half way up the paper (waterline). Leave a space above the mark and draw a line for the reeds area. Above that, draw a line for the back horizon line between the mountain and the sky.
  3. Draw a large swan so the bottom is about an inch from the bottom of the paper.
  4. Fill in the swan, except the beak and eye, with white oil pastel.
  5. Color in the lake with white oil paste, and then with blue pastel, staying slightly away from the outline of the swan.
  6. With purple oil pastel, color in the mountain and then with the edge of the green pastel, draw reeds between the water and the mountain. Leave a small space between the water edge and the bottom of the reeds, so you can make reflection lines below the reeds. Slightly blend the reflection lines.
  7. Color the sky blue and add white over the blue.
  8. With orange and red, color in the swan beak. With black color in the eye.
  9. With the Stuchie swan picture as a guide, make extra, thin black lines to show feathers on the swan. Also, you can carefully outline the swan with the edge of the black oil pastel.

3rd Grade Projects Gallery:


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