Explore Color and Texture with this Hippopotamus Craft!

This vibrant work of art will most likely take your students a few class periods to create, but it will be well worth the work!

Step 1: Create Painted Paper

This project is designed to make use of many different textures. For the hippo's head, begin by painting a square of craft paper light gray, then once it's dry, follow with a darker gray sponge paint technique. For the lily pads, use watercolor paper and paint to create a 'tie dyed' pattern using different shades of green and yellow. Flowers can be completed the same way using shades of red, pink, and purple. Step 2: Create the Background

Laura, elementary art teacher and creator of the blog Paintedpaper, suggests using apple trays (i.e. when turned upside down their grooves look like waves). Use a combination of blue and purple to create the look of water, then green and yellow to add some vines.

Step 3: Design Paper Accents

From the dried painted paper, outline and cut out the head of a hippo, using craft paper and Crayola washable markers to add accents like eyes, the inside of the ears, and a nose. Create lily pads and flowers as well, using a green marker to add veins to the lily pads if desired.

Step 4: Design the Final Piece

Once all of these elements have been created, it's time to put everything together. Check out Laura's website for some great examples!

Paintedpaper: hippos...Splash, Splash!


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