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Jeff Koons Inspired Balloon Animals

animals crayons drawing landscape watercolour Oct 22, 2022

How does selling an artwork for about $58 million sound? That’s how I came to know about this award winning contemporary artist, Jeff Koons. He released a series of Balloon Dog inspired sculptures in 1993 that captured the worlds attention - they’re fun, so so so FUN, playful, colourful and remind me of my childhood days at the show or a birthday parties. In 2013, his 10-foot-tall Balloon Dog (Orange) (1994–2000) was purchased for $58.4 million, setting a new record for the most expensive work ever sold at auction by a living artist!

Introducing Jeff Koons’ work to Little Artists isn’t difficult at all. They all connect instantly to the balloon animals and love telling stories of their favourite balloon memory, birthday party or what balloon animal they’d love to create. In this lesson I take students through the process of drawing three different balloon animals - a horse, a mouse and a (easier) butterfly. We give our balloon highlights and shadows using watercolours, creating tone like this can be a tricky skill! And as always I like to give my students lots of design choices - so we talk about two different background options using the same painting process. A cityscape with fireworks or a (easier) garden flower scene.

I think your class or Little Artist at home will love this lesson! Even if they only try drawing a balloon animal it’s definitely worth the smiles at the end. I’ve create a step-by-step drawing guide to get you started drawing you balloon animal. Download it below and follow the steps to add your colour and paints.

TURN YOUR BALLOONS INTO ANIMALS & CREATE A MASTERPIECE
 

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

Balloon Animal Drawing Guide

 

STEP 1. BACKGROUND CITYSCAPE OPTION

We are starting with the background for this project so it can dry in time to top it off with our balloon animals. Little Artists can choose to create a cityscape with fireworks or a (more simple) garden flower background using cut cardboard and paint I’ll show you both!

Cityscape:

Orient your coloured paper to landscape a begin to paint cityscape - you can use any coloured paint you like. Start by drawing rectangle shapes of different heights and widths, some can have triangular roofs. Add strokes and lines for windows. Leave to dry.

Fireworks:

Dip you cut piece of cardboard into paint and dab it onto the A3 black paper to make a mark. Continue dabbing in a radial pattern to create each firework. Add one colour of firework all over your paper, then switch to another piece of cardboard to add a different colour on top. You can fill any gaps on your page by adding smaller fireworks with smaller pieces of cardboard.

To finish the background glue your cityscape onto top of your fireworks.

BACKGROUND: FLOWER GARDEN OPTION

Paint green stems and leaves on coloured A3 paper. To create the colourful flowers dip you cut piece of cardboard into paint and dab it at the top of one stem to make a mark. Continue dabbing in a radial pattern to create each flower. Add one colour of flower all over your paper, then switch to another piece of cardboard to add a different colour on top.

STEP 2: BALLOON ANIMALS

I love giving Little Artists lots of design choices throughout my lessons. In this project we learn to draw a balloon horse, mouse and butterfly. You can download my FREE drawing guide for the horse and butterfly balloon animal here. In our Art Club video lesson I demonstrate the steps to draw each animal using oil pastel. Once you have created your animal outline it’s time to add tone with watercolour paints.

When painting your animal leave some blank white areas on each balloon section - this is for the highlight. Paint the rest of your balloon animal a medium tone, use lots of water and just a little bit of paint. I tell my students to dip the brush lightly into the paint as if its a feather. Finally add a darker shade (of the same colour) on the opposite side of each balloon section to the white highlight. Once it is dry the cut it out.

STEP 3: ASSEMBLE

Cityscape:

Find the perfect position by placing the cityscape and balloon animal on top of the firework background. Before gluing down paint a white line for the balloon string from the animal to behind the cityscape. Then glue your pieces in place - your animal can go off the page as if its floating away in the sky.

Flower Garden:

Glue the Butterfly balloon onto of the garden background. It's fun the place the butterfly at the top of the page as if it’s flying. Or if your artist is using the tiny mouse it could be sitting at the bottom of page amongst the flower stems.

DID YOU TRY THIS LESSON? I’D LOVE TO SEE!

I LOVE seeing what your Little Artist creates. Feel free to send artwork photos through to me and I will always respond with a special message right back! Encouragement is a BIG DEAL in keep your kids on their creative path.

I created a step by step instructional video for this lesson inside my Online Art Club for Kids. You can create your own Jeff Koons artwork and so many more by joining my tribe of Art Club Artists. For more information and signing up click HERE.

Don’t forget to download your FREE Balloon Animal drawing guide to get you started.

 

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