Elephants of India

Project Title: Elephants of India
Description: Students will learn why elephants are important to India. They will learn how to draw an elephant, add patterns and designs, and paint it in.
Author: Dayna Ensminger
Grade level or Target Age Range: Elementary Level, ages 6+

Historical Art Examples or References: Images of decorated Indian elephants
Vocabulary: Painting, watercolor paint, blend, draw, patterns, watercolor resist
Materials: Watercolor paper 9×12, watercolor paints, brushes, containers for water, paper towels, pencils, erasers, crayons


1. Discuss elephants and why they are important to Indian culture. Show examples of decorated elephants.

2. Step-by-step teacher demo how to draw an elephant.

3. Students add patterns and designs onto their elephant. They can also draw a blanket that hangs on the elephant’s back and draw patterns on that as well.

4. Erase any extra marks.

5. Use crayons to outline elephant and any of the designs

6. Demonstrate how to get gray when you don’t have gray or white! Students will learn how to add more water to black watercolor to lighten it.

7. Paint elephant gray (black + water)

8. Use other colors to complete colorful designs on the elephant. Students should notice how the crayons will repel or resist the watercolor paint. The wax from the crayon acts as a barrier.

9. Paint in the background any way you wish.

10. Allow to dry.