Friday, December 9, 2011

Camel Portraits with "Magic Carpet" Backgrounds

Sierra, 1st grade

Breanna, 2nd grade

Paige, 2nd grade

Brendon, 2nd grade

Lacie, 2nd grade

Luc, 2nd grade

Alexa, 1st grade

Zoe, 2nd grade

Hank, 2nd grade

Scott, 1st grade

I was inspired by both these camel portraits from a secondary school in Switzerland as well as some great magic carpets at Use Your Coloured Pencils, Georgetown Elementary and Princess Artypants. I thought the two would go together well. In the end, I decided to use a project based on Gordon Hopkins pattern designs we did last week as our magic carpets. I thought the bold oil pastel designs and colors made a fun backdrop for our contour camels. (These were created by taking 3 sheets of colored construction paper, folding them in half and making six different patterns using oil pastels, and then cutting them up and rearranging the squares.)

The children chose between a large or regular sheet of tan construction paper for their camel. From there we followed a direct line drawing lesson based loosely on this beautiful drawing I saw on Pinterest. What wonderfully individual interpretations my 1st and 2nd graders created. Love their personalities! They added details with oil pastel and could use pastel and charcoal to add light and shadow smudges. The camels were cut out and glued to their "magic carpet" designs.
(As always, virtual mat and frame are courtesy of I can't help it, the graphic designer in me loves a polished presentation.)


  1. The expressions on these camels are making me smile. They are terrific!!

  2. These camels are adorable.I love the expressions.
    Your students did a fantastic job.

  3. Oh I love camels.. and I love drawing them... your kids have done them so well. I love the quirky character of camels. I love them (the drawings... and camels, too). So lovely. grace

  4. PS. I just had to share this with my followers on Facebook. I simply adore them... hope you don't mind... g

  5. Thanks very much! Quirky is a good description Grace. No, I don't mind you sharing. :)

  6. Oh I adore those camels and their personalities. Of course I am thinking ahead to January and seeing as I work at a Christian school and Epiphany is coming up, well there may be some camels in our future. thank you and have a great break and a wonderful Christmas!

  7. Mary, these camels are so fun. My kindergarten class is doing a unit on India and I would like to do these camels with them. Where did you start in the drawing of your camel with the kids?

    1. I found a photo of a camel on the internet and tried to break it down into simple shapes. This school in Germany did a lesson that might be helpful to you:

      Hope this helps! This was such a fun lesson.


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