Art Classes: Level V

Level V-Art Lesson 5: The Lion Collage from Kenya

Learn to draw a landscape with lions.

Then use Eric Carle's process to create a collage of your landscape.

Art Lesson Description:

The Tacoma Art Museum recently featured a display of Eric Carle’s collages. On almost the same day that we had the pleasure of viewing Mr. Carle’s work, we discovered another collage. On a placemat made in Kenya was a collage that pictured two lions. We immediately purchased the placemat and think of this lesson as a collage mixture of Eric Carle’s technique, lions, and banana plants.  (Did you know that on the island of Papua New Guinea there are over 200 varieties of bananas?)

The result of our mixture is a lesson that will free students to explore and invent paint textures while introducing them to the exhilarating fun of making a collage.  Along the way, they will also learn to make a graded wash for the background of the collage.

The lesson begins with an easy guided drawing.  It’s the collage that will be challenging.  The key for students will be to take their time, to be careful with their breakaway or X-Acto knife, and to have a stiff cardboard under their work to protect the table surface where they work.


List of Supplies for Each Student:

  • Warm-up for the drawing
  • 1 fineā€tipped black magic marker
  • A #2 pencil or an HB drawing pencil
  • A painting board (a 12” x 16” piece of masonite works nicely)
  • A palette or dish to mix paints on
  • Bottled acrylic paints: four colors of plus black and white
  • At least two paint brushes:
  • #4, #6, or #8 round watercolor brush
  • ½” or 1” flat watercolor wash brush
  • Four sheets of 11” x 17” drawing paper
  • 1 sheet of watercolor paper
  • A bottle of water for rinsing brushes
  • A roll of masking tape
  • White glue (like Elmer’s white glue)
  • 1 breakaway knife or X-Acto knife
  • 1 scissors
  • A piece of dense cardboard or other surface to protect your table when you are cutting

Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:

Social Studies: Learn about Kenya’s history, geography, and climate. Learn about the history of the banana split.


  • What climate zones are good for growing banana plants--what makes a climate zone? Where do bananas grow besides Africa?  How many varieties of bananas exist?  A good resource is The Complete Book of Bananas. Study the parts of a plant: What is the difference between a leaf and a stem? What kinds of cell formations do woody stems have that other stems do not?
  • Learn about Kevin Richardson and his relationship with lions in South Africa.

Art and Literature:

Approximate Time to Complete the Art Class:

  • Warm-up: 25 minutes
  • Painting papers for the collage: 60 minutes
  • Cutting and pasting the collage: 120 minutes


Original Image
Original Image
How to Draw
How to Draw

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