How to Draw a Hen and Chicks

Mother Hen+and+Chicks diagramI’m always looking for simple drawing ideas that are easy to shade. This one works and makes a pretty picture too.
1. On a 9″ x 12″ piece of paper, the students draw a large circle for the hen body and then a small one for it’s head as shown.
2. The head is connected to the body with a neck, and a tail and legs are added.
3. Details are drawn on the hen head and a wing is drawn on the body. Two or more half-circles are added (wherever there is room) to make the chicks.
4. Heads and legs are added to the chicks.
5. All lines are traced and colored in with oil pastels. My favorite are the Portfolio® 24-pack oil pastels. Older students may add shadows by shading with a bit of gray.

8 Responses

  1. Nell
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    Prompted by the negative comment above, I wanted to share my experience. My 6-yo old son used to be really into drawing but lately feels like he doesn’t know how to draw. In fact when I suggested we draw a hen and chicks together, his first response was that he didn’t know how. (Quite frankly, I don’t have a good idea of how to teach him — but he’s in a LAUSD school that has barely any art education — and so I’ve been looking at sites like this one to try to provide him with some art at home.)

    I drew something very close to the model. He started out following my lead, but quickly added a fancy feathered wing and a more elaborate tail. When it came time to shade, he added a barn, bats, some eggs, and a woman. What started out as a simple exercise in using shapes to put together a picture ended with something wonderfully creative. But my son, and I bet many other kids, needed some sort of framework to get started.

    Thanks for this site!

  2. Noel
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    My children – ages 4, 6, and 10 just LOVE following these step by step drawings. They ask, “teach me how to draw…..” and drawing is not my strong point but we can tackle it together using these step by step lessons. I am a former K teacher and it gave my students such confidence when we broke drawings into smaller simpler steps. THANK YOU for all of your fabulous ideas !!!

  3. naomi
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    I guess this will be fab for some kids and not for others! Anyway just posting to say I love your blog, and was finally motivated to buy some oil pastesls today and my son loves them! I just started a blog too and posted his picture because I am so proud of it, he doesn’t seem himself as an ‘art’ or ‘craft’ person so its nice to see him enthused, thanks

  4. Kathy Barbro
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    Thanks so much for your kind words of support everyone! It is much appreciated.

  5. Anonymous
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    Thank You so much for posting this site. My six year old loves to draw animals for school projects and your site takes away the frustrations he use to express!!!

  6. Anonymous
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    My 4 year old WON’T draw symbolically because what he does “isn’t good enough” (his own words). I sat down and painted through these steps with him (no shading, obviously) and he LOVED it. He was so proud of himself and I was so proud of him. Sure, it would be better for him to be able to put a pen to paper with his own ideas. But he doesn’t have the confidence for that right now. Doing things like this give kids skills, techniques, and confidence!

    I am so thankful to you for this site. I know so many teachers keep their ideas and plans to themselves. Your generosity is a gift to us!

  7. Anonymous
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    why why why why why???!!!

    teach children to draw, not copy this symbolic garbage!

  8. Sue
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    Hi Kathy,
    My group of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder love to borrow books from the library that have these step by step drawings and they are really good at drawing what they see. It is usually an activity that they like to do on their own but while I was reading your post I thought it would be a great idea to do this activity with them as a teacher directed activity at the beginning or end of a lesson. They are not usually interested in shading but that’s okay! Thanks for the inspiration.

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