Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hip Hippo-Ray

1st - Jenna

Kinder - Izzy

Kinder - Kate

1st - Kate

1st - Reese

1st - Liam

1st - Addison

2nd - Lilly

1st - Ella

4th - Sierra

My Experiment

On Halloween the Los Angeles Zoo received quite a surprise, a baby hippo (despite the fact that mama was on birth control). There are some very cute videos of the two online. I have always wanted to do a hippo lesson, so this was the perfect opportunity. I found this wonderfully detailed illustration by Lori Anzalone for inspiration for my Whimsical Animal Art classes. The kids (mostly 1st graders) followed a direct line drawing lesson from the white board. I think the size and shape of the hippo lends itself well to vastly different interpretations, particularly with this being a "whimsical" art class. So bring on the lumps, bumps and wrinkles! They then shaded their hippos with pastels and charcoal. Background boards were divided into 3 spaces: sky, swamp grass, and water. White oil pastel was added first on the bottom layer to create water highlights. They then painted this space with watercolor. Layer 2 was created with sponges and acrylics and last watercolor African sunsets. The children cut out grass from extra sponge painted sheet for the hippos to peak out from. We thought they still needed a little more whimsy, so they drew flowers to cut out and put in their ears. All collage elements were cut and glued to their backgrounds.
Each one could be the star of a children's book. Nice job kids!


  1. These are great! Did your 4th graders draw the hippos themselves?

    1. Thanks Jacquelien! The children followed a line drawing lesson.

  2. These are really neat... and now I know that hippos can be on birth control :)


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