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Painting for kids: How to paint an awesome whale picture with your kids

It can be easy to lose track of how much time our kids spend glued to screens. We know that there are LOADS of educational resources online, so screen time isn’t all that bad. But, why not give your kids off screen alternatives to keep them busy, creating, and of course, entertained? Today we bring you an activity by illustrator Jennie Maizels who shares with us how to paint an awesome whale picture with your kids. Better yet, this is actually the first post in a series we will be doing where you can learn to paint even more beautiful things, so do make sure you sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss out.

Whale picture with your kids

We are so eager to get straight to it, so let’s get started. If you want to hear from us to get all the wonderful designs we will have within the painting theme on the site, then sign up here, and we’ll email this article to you, and then all of the other ones too as they come out!

Using transfers to paint a whale picture

For our whale we will be using a transfer. Transfers are great ways of helping kids learn art as it teaches fine motor skills, organisation, problem solving, colour awareness, and most of all, helps them create something stunning they can be TRULY proud of. It is a wonderful activity too as adults can do it alongside their children.

If you want to help your kids create stunning art then this method is the one to adopt as it is perfect for kids from any age range. Sure, the older kids (6 and above) need less supervision, but even toddlers can enjoy the activity. You can do this, too!

Whale picture

Painting a whale picture

Let’s take a look at the materials you will need:

  • An HB pencil,
  • A set of acrylic paints (you can find more great resources on Jennie’s site),
  • A set of watercolour paints,
  • A set of Gouache paint,
  • Size 1, and size 6 paintbrushes,
  • A piece of chalk (can be white or pastel), and,
  • A white gel pen (optional for highlights).

Before you begin your painting do print out the whale transfer, reference sheet, and instructions.

To begin, transfer the Whale onto your page as per the instructions. Draw in your wavy sea line. Then you are ready to add colour.

Start by painting in the sky a lovely thick Aqua Blue Acrylic. This shade stands out from the other blues in the image and will be a great contrast!

Move from the sky to the sea, by painting it a darker version of the aqua blue sky.

Here’s what to do next,

Once the acrylic’s dry, start to paint the Whale’s upper blue section. Wet the area thoroughly, and work fast to prevent it from drying out,

Add blobs of blue paint onto the wet surface, working fast so it doesn’t dry,

Let the paint dry and paint in your reeves and corals at the bottom of the sea bed by beginning with a darker colour, then moving on to lighter shades to give depth. You can even add a paler colour to give highlights and create realism under the sea.

Paint a whale picture with your kids

Working on the details

Once the area is dry we can move on to the underbelly of the whale. Follow the same instructions as for the blues we used before but use pale colours. Avoid getting close to the blues so the colours don’t run.

Next, paint in your little shoal of fish by copying some of the fish on the reference sheet, pencil them in first and be sure to use a nice bright colours.

Move on to painting the whales water spurt, splashes, and all the highlights with the gouache paints with a fine brush or white gel pen.

Proceed to painting the whale’s eyes. First with black and then highlighting in white.

Finally, once you are sure everything is dry, add some shafts of light using a white chalk or a white chalky pastel, working in the rays with your finger and adding more where needed. Position the rays in a fan shape, making them sharper at the top and more smudgy further down.

Add some finishing touches with the white gel pen or paint, and voila! Your masterpiece is finished!

Take a look at the finished product!

Cool whale pictures

Stunning, isn’t it? If you want to see the instructions in a more visual way, watch this YouTube video tutorial.


It’s lovely isn’t it?

<< Click through the circular image below to get your own transfer >>

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Take a look at even more painting ideas from KiddyCharts.

And here are even more from around the web that we think you will like.

Painting ideas from around the web

See you for next weeks post,


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Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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