Summer Art Plans – Dragonfly Chalk Pastel from Hodgepodge Mom

Last week’s assignment was to make an acrylic paint abstract! This was super fun and I love all the results sent in for the slideshow. I love the way each one is unique, choosing colors was my favorite part!

Here is your slideshow: Abstract Acrylic Paint Project

Abstract 1

This week we have a special guest post that introduces this week’s Summer Art Project. Tricia Hodges from Southern Hodgepodge has created a special Dragonfly Chalk Pastel Tutorial just for us! Follow her instructions and then send in your project images for next week’s slideshow!

Please note that Tricia has created a series of chalk pastel art books for download that will help your family create wonderful artwork with little preparation and no skills required by the mom.

Note this is an affiliate link.


Today’s pastel is just pure joy!  All of my students were happy to paint this pastel because it was different and fun. Dragonflies are one of the “perks” of summertime. They flash by you with their iridescent wings making a soft humming sound. You can usually find a dragonfly around some sort of water. If you have the opportunity to see one, you will be enchanted.

You will need the following:

  • Pastel colors:  black, white, pale blue plus a background color that you prefer.
  • Paper clip
  • Paper

You may want to draw your dragonfly around a pond, or buzzing around some flowers after a summer rain. Greens and medium yellows would be great.

dragonfly art for all ages

You will begin with the background.  Simply “skumble” or lightly brush your green pastel over your paper. Remember to either make the green up to the top of the page or put in a sky color. Please, no poor dragonflies just hanging on a half-white page of paper!  Remember to use a very light touch and “fist” or use your finger to brush in the strokes so that the background is even with greens and yellows. This will give just an impression of a summer garden.

dragonfly chalk pastel steps

Now pick up your black pastel and draw a long stick for the body of your dragonfly. Make the body a tiny bit wider at the top and taper it down at the tail. Dragonflies have two big, pale blue eyes on their heads. If you look, the eyes are the only parts of the head that you see in the pastels that we drew. Take a tiny bit of white and mark a curve along one of the eyes to show where the light is coming from.  Dragonflies have TWO sets of wings. Take your black and draw two oval shapes for the first set of wings at the top of the body, then draw another set, separately down lower on the body.  With your black, fill in the wings. Your white pastel comes next. Cover the black wings with white pastel.

Dragonfly chalk pastel wings

Now comes the fun part! Take a plain old paper clip and open it up until you have a long point and draw fine lines on top of the white pastel to make “veins” on the dragonfly wings.  You don’t need to bear down a great amount, the black pastel under the white should show up as the veining.

Look!  You have just finished a summertime dragonfly! How beautiful it is!  Remember to name your picture on the back, date it, and put your name on the finished pastel in the corner of the front.  This time we used some hairspray to “fix” our pastel pictures so that they would not smear. Just lightly, lightly spray over the finished piece and let dry.

Good job on this painting!  And, as I always say:  “You CAN be an artist!”


Thanks Tricia for guest posting with such a fun project for us!

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