Nuts to You! Watercolor Squirrel Art Project

Looking for an easy squirrel-themed art idea for your kids? Today I’m sharing a cute and easy watercolor squirrel art project inspired by Lois Ehlert’s Nuts to You! 

Nuts to You! Watercolor Squirrel Art Project

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Nuts to You! is a simple, yet colorful picture book about a squirrel living in the city. It follows the city squirrel as he makes his rounds at an apartment building getting into birdseed, flowers, and, most unusually, sneaks in through an apartment window. A handful of nuts come into the story as the narrator lures the squirrel outside.

The story and illustrations are lots of fun, but don’t let that fool you. In typical Lois Ehlert fashion, plants, birds, and insects are labeled throughout the book and facts about squirrels are included at the end.

Nuts to You! Watercolor Squirrel Art

After reading Nuts to You!, we decided it would be fun to recreate some of the illustrations from the book. We grabbed the following art supplies from our homeschool closet and got started:

    • Watercolor paper
    • Watercolor paint set
    • Paintbrushes
    • White and brown crayons
    • Sharpie marker
    • Spray bottle with water
    • Table salt

Step 1 – Draw Squirrel Outline

The illustrations in Nuts to You! are fun and easy, which made them the perfect inspiration for our watercolor squirrel art. We picked a page from the book and used the squirrel there for our example and carefully used a crayon to draw our squirrels on the watercolor paper.

If you’d rather not use the squirrel from Nuts to You! for your inspiration, you may like Art for Kids Hub’s step-by-step squirrel tutorial. This one from Draw Central may also be helpful.

Nuts to You! Watercolor Squirrel Art
One of my kids used a brown crayon to outline and the other chose a white crayon for the project. The brown works better if you’re trying to replicate the illustrations from the book, but white is also fine if you simply want to create a watercolor resist effect.

After drawing the squirrel, we used our crayons to add background details. Your child may choose to use a page in the book as inspiration for the background or he or she may choose to go a completely different direction with their watercolor squirrel.

Step 2 – Paint Squirrel and Background

Nuts to You! Watercolor Squirrel Art
After the outlines are finished, the painting fun can begin. Depending on the background choice, the painting process could go quickly or require more time to complete.

Nuts to You! Easy Watercolor Squirrel Art

Step 3 – Add Details

Next, we sprinkled small amounts of salt on our paintings to replicate the illustrations in Nuts to You! After we added salt, we used our spray bottle to add a little more water to our pages.

Note, this detail is optional, but it creates a nice effect. The salt soaks up some of the liquid from the paint and create variations in the pigment.

Nuts to You! Watercolor Squirrel Art

When everything dried, we dusted off the salt and completed our paintings by outlining the squirrels.

Our completed projects turned out to be quite different, — one with a bright and colorful background and one with the brick backdrop from the book — but they were a cute and easy way to add some artsy fun to our reading time!

Nuts to You! Watercolor Squirrel Art Project

The Nature Book Club
Monthly Linkup #2

Guess what… there’s more squirrely fun happening through the Nature Book Club. This month’s theme is small mammals and my nature-loving friends have some fun book-related learning ideas for us!

The Nature Book Club February Linkup - Nuts to You! Watercolor Squirrel Art Project
Better yet, our February Nature Book Club Giveaway is A Kid’s Spring Ecojournal from our friend Toni Albert. Use the giveaway widget below to enter to win. 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

February Theme: Small Mammals

The Nature Book Club is a monthly linkup beginning on the 20th day of each month. It’s a monthly book club devoted to connecting children to nature. There is a theme for each month in 2018 and we welcome your nature book and activity related links!

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