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Drawing Upside Down

Upside Down Drawing Lesson-

When I teach drawing, I like to take a close up of a photo with lights and darks, turn it upside down and have the students draw what they see. This is always a successful lesson. The results are shockingly good.


Photo for copying

black paper the same size and shape as photo

white, black, orange, yellow, blue pastels


glue stick

colored paper for mounting


Cut black paper to same size as photo

Fold photo in half vertically and horizontally to get middle. Trace over folds with white chalk.

On black paper use ruler to find middle and mark with white chalk.

Have students turn photo upside down

Have students look at the negative space (the spaces that are not the animal, ie. background) and copy that shape onto the paper first.

Have them measure where the features are and color in.

Don't turn paper until finished.

Results of Upside Down Drawings (Done by 8 year old children)

Result of Upside Down Drawings (done by teens and seniors)


  • The students always start out moaning, they don't believe they can do it. When they are done they are proud and have energy. It is very rewarding to see them happy.

  • It is messy. I like to mount the panther on colored paper after they wash their hands.

  • I like to go step by step with them using a chalk board. I demo each step I do to create the drawing. I stop often to check up on them to see if they are with me. Often, there is one who is completely lost. I stop to guide and them move on.

  • At the end we hang their masterpieces on the wall. They are so proud, they return to the wall often to admire their drawings.

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  • Kim Weissenborn Artist
  • Kim Weissenborn Artist
  • Kim Weissenborn Artist
  • Kim Weissenborn Artist
  • Kim Weissenborn Artist

©2017 Watercolor painting in Vero Kim Weissenborn - Florida