Art Classes: Level III

Level III-Art Lesson 10: The Russian Matryoshka

Learn two folk art techniques:  a comma stroke with a brush & dots with a medicine dropper

The lesson is suitable for students in grade 5 through adult.


Art Lesson Description:

We combine the rich folk tradition of the Russian nesting doll with a short lesson in Russian folk art painting techniques and an introduction to Russia’s incredible history.

Students will learn an easy way to create a symmetrical outline of the matryoshka.

  • They will learn two painting techniques commonly learned by Russian school children—
    • Using a medicine dropper to make dots, and
    • Learning a simple comma stroke with a round #6 watercolor brush.

Then they will use these two techniques, along with a gel pen for details, to paint the matryoshka.

This lesson includes both POWERPOINT and VIDEO versions of the lesson plus a downloadable printout of a matryoshka outline.


List of Supplies for Each Student:


Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:




  • For younger children:
  • For older children:
    • Between Shades of Gray (#ad) by Ruta Sepetys: a young adult story about Soviet prison camps. There is a helpful study guide for the book.
    • The Night Journey (#ad) by Kathryn Lasky: a story of the life of a Jewish girl in turn-of-the-century Russia.
    • The Wild Children (#ad) by Felice Holman: Left behind when his  family is arrested by soldiers following the Bolshevik Revolution, twelve-year-old Alex falls in with a gang of other homeless children, but never loses his hope for a better life.
    • Anastasia, the Last Grand Duchess (#ad) by 
Carolyn Meyer: A novel in diary form. The youngest daughter of Czar Nicholas II describes her privileged life before World War I and the tragic events that followed.
    • Angel on the Square (#ad) by Gloria Whelan: 
In 1913 Russia, twelve-year-old Katya eagerly anticipates leaving her St. Petersburg home to join her mother, a lady in waiting in the household of Tsar Nicholas II, but the ensuing years bring world war, revolution, and undreamed-of changes to her life.


  • Learn to make Olivie (Салат “Оливье "ol-iv-YEH").


Approximate Time to Complete the Art Lesson:

  • Drawing the matryoshka outline: 20 minutes
  • Drawing details on the matryoshka: 20 minutes
  • Painting the matryoshka: 45-60 minutes
  • Total time: 85-100 minutes


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

Purchase Lessons

1-Year License*: $6.00

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Bundle This Lesson

Bundle III-B (Online Art Lessons for Kids | ArtAchieve)
ENTIRE Level III (Online Art Lessons for Kids | ArtAchieve)

*Purchased Items will be made available for viewing on the website for 1 year past the purchase date.

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