Art Classes: Level III

Level III-Art Lesson 2: The African Crowned Crane

Learn to draw an African crowned crane and capture its dancing in color and pattern

Art Lesson Description:

African crowned cranes are the only cranes that roost in trees, but what they are more admired for is their dancing. 

While the emphasis in our art lessons is on realistic drawing, the dancing of the cranes begs the question: what is realistic?  Is it more realistic to capture the color of the crane or to capture the joy it seems to exude as it dances?  This lesson gives the opportunity to interpret the crane drawing either way.

Using acrylic pens makes it much easier to add details--making fine marks with them is easier than with a brush.  Be sure to have some on hand!


List of Supplies for Each Student:

  • 1 crane warm-up
  • 1 sheet of  11” x 14” drawing paper
  • 1 fine tipped black magic marker
  • 5-7 colors of acrylic paints
  • 1 or more paint pens
  • #4 watercolor brush
  • 1 small palette
  • 1 painting board (a 12” x 16” piece of masonite works nicely)
  • Masking tape
  • 1 bottle or cup for rinsing brushes

Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:

  • Social Studies: Use this lesson as an introduction to the geography and history of Uganda and Ghana, where African cranes are found.
    • How big is Africa compared to the United States or China? See a map of Africa that gives the answers.
    • Find the African crowned crane in the flag of Uganda. Learn more at this site.

Approximate Time to Complete the Art Class:

  • Introduction through guided drawing: 20 min. (1 crane) to 30 min. (3 cranes)
  • Finishing the drawing: 45 (1 crane) to 55 min. (2)
  • Total time: 65 to 85 minutes


Original Image
Original Image
How to Draw
How to Draw
A Finished Art Lesson
A Finished Art Lesson

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