Drawing with Kids Using the Monart Method - Lesson 2 Drawing Lions
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Drawing for Kids :: Lions! (Monart Method Lesson 2)


Drawing with Kids Using the Monart Method - Lesson 2 Drawing Lions

We’re back with another drawing for kids post! It’s been a while and I apologize. We’ve actually done all three drawing exercises from lesson 2 (drawing from graphics) over the past month and this lion drawing is the first of them.

For those who are joining in for the first time, my 7 year old and I are following the drawing lessons outlined in Mona Brookes’ popular book, Drawing with Children.

So without further ado, let’s get started!

Drawing with Kids Lion Lesson 2 22

As usual, we began with a warm up drawing exercise that emphasizes shapes, quality of line, and yes, following drawing instructions (as much as I cringe a bit inwardly at writing that). As you can see, though, following the instructions of drawing a line from one edge of the paper to the other or drawing three circles of various sizes along that line do NOT at all mean that you will end up with identical cookie cutter works of art.

Drawing with Kids Lion Lesson 2 10

Once we finished our warm up exercises, we began our lion drawings, following the step-by-step instructions… Such as:

Draw an oval dot for each one of the pupils, a curved line over and under each one of the dots to define the outer edge of the lids, and tiny straight or curved lines for the eyelashes.

The instructions are easy to follow and include line drawings for each section of the drawing described. See the eyes above Maia’s lion? Sometimes we test part of a drawing on our paper-covered table first.

Of course, Maia went beyond the basic instructions and embellished her lion with large dangly earrings and a bird companion.

Drawing with Kids Lion Lesson 2 16

We both colored our drawings in with markers—nothing fancy; just our Crayolas. (We often use Sharpies as well.)

Drawing with Kids Lion Lesson 2 21

Maia finished her drawing as I was still working on mine.

This lion lesson is a level 1 drawing using simple, abstracted shapes. Each lesson contains drawing exercises for each of the three drawing levels. Remember the beginning exercise that tested our ability to replicate shapes? This lion is the simplest of the lesson 2 drawings, appropriate for those who were able to complete the level 1 shape replication exercise at the beginning of the book. Maia and I were both able to complete all three levels, but rather than jumping to the level 3 drawing, we’ve just been doing each of them.

Drawing with Kids Lion Lesson 2 19

Maia’s bird got obliterated in her finished lion drawing (but it popped up again in subsequent lion drawings…).

Drawing with Kids Lion Lesson 2 25

I incorporated some stylized decoration in my drawing. As well as a baobab tree!

Drawing with Kids Lion Lesson 2 27

Maia continued to draw lions over the next couple of weeks, using the same technique and structure but doing it from memory. I like how she’s become comfortable depicting a lion and does so playfully. Here there’s a rainbow bird atop the lion’s back.

Drawing with Kids Lion Lesson 2 26

Here the lion is on the back of a large rainbow bird.

Kids Lion Drawings 3

And here the lion himself is rainbow colored.

Yes, the lion looks much the same in each of the drawings despite the playful colors, sizes, and combination of animals. I imagine that with time her lions will loosen up and look a bit less like the lion in the book and more unique. The important thing is that she is perfectly comfortable drawing lions now, is proud of that fact, and is learning how to connect shapes more fluently to depict images she wants to draw.

Have you been following along on the Drawing for Kids series?

Drawing with Kids using the Monart Method

Drawing with Kids :: Birds (Monart Method Lesson 1)

Drawing with Kids :: Lions! (Monart Method Lesson 2)

Drawing Lessons for Kids with the Monart Method :: Revisited


Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks We’re really enjoying our lessons and progress with the Monart method and Mona Brookes’ Drawing with Children book. Many of you have said you picked up the book since I first posted about it. And many others have said that you’ve had the book for a while now but were intimidated about starting it with your kids and that this series is making the process more accessible for you. I’m so glad! I’ll keep sharing our progress here… Feel free to do the lessons alongside us or to pin these posts for later.

Quick question: Is there anything I can do to make this Drawing for Kids series more helpful for you?

This post contains affiliate links.


  • Avatar
    April 17, 2013 at 7:38 am

    I’m reading the series with interest but think it’s a thing for me to remember for the future. Could you write a little about what age you think would be a minimum for this (obviously it varies between children). My oldest isn’t four yet and I remember your Daphne wasn’t interested when you gave her a chance to join in. What would you recommend for the younger children?
    I’m waiting on my copy of your book and look forward to it greatly

  • Avatar
    welcome to our wonderland
    April 17, 2013 at 7:39 am

    I am picking up the book today at the library so we will have to play catch up a little but we should be able to draw right a long with you guys!

  • Avatar
    April 17, 2013 at 8:04 am

    This is great! My oldest is only 4 years old so maybe in few years we can do it.

  • Avatar
    Mary Beth
    April 17, 2013 at 9:20 am

    I really appreciate you doing this series. I picked up the book two years ago after seeing it at a homeschool co-op but have been intimidated about getting started. Now I’m inspired! Thanks!

  • Avatar
    April 17, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I have another book by that author, “Drawing for Older Children and Teens,” but since my LO is only two, we’ve got a WHILE before we can use that one. I’ve put your book suggestion on my wishlist. I think it will be a great tool to have when Little O is just a bit older. Thanks for sharing.

  • Avatar
    April 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Hi Jean,
    I picked up the book (second hand) after your first post. My sons 4 and 6 have been enjoying doing it with me. My 6 year old and I loved the bird exercise but when we did the lion one, he gt fed up and had a tantrum. Later he was sick so I realised he wasn’t feeling well. I have just shown him your pictures and he has asked for us to try the lion one again tomorrow – yay! I am having such fun doing these drawing exercises with him.
    I also preordered your book and it arrived today. I am going to start reading it tonight in bed. Can’t wait to get started.
    The other thing that arrived today (yes, I have been a bit extravagant!) is a colourful tote tray unit. I am going to get all our papers, cards, crafty bits, pens, pencils, etc organised in the tote trays tomorrow.
    I am someone who always thought I had no art ability but I am determined my kids won’t feel like that and am loving being inspired by your blog. Thank you.

  • Avatar
    April 18, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Hi Jean,
    Your blog has inspired me to try following you and this book with my 5.5 year old daughter. I feel wholly inadequate as a teacher and so I am taking you up the offer to make this series more helpful. Could you please describe what your warm ups for days you doing these lessons look like. I.e. do you practice shapes and mirror images as well as the warm up pictures with the three line etc? I thought these warm ups would be our first lessons and that they would be fun and take many lessons till we are ready to build on to the bird but after two days of drawing I think we will have to do the bird or I will have lost my daughter to boredom. I have not read much past the first exercises. Have you been trying to draw anything other than what is in the book during these lessons?
    I have way more questions but any guidance here would help. Thank you.

  • Avatar
    April 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I am so excited to see you write about this again. After reading your first post I got the book and began it with my 10-year-old daughter whom I’m homeschooling. We are still in lesson #1 – have been for a while and may be for some time:)
    I am so glad to see you using Crayola markers:) My daughter loves my Micron pens (I only have a few a guard them with my life) but I got her a few of her own as we started the drawing lessons. However I was more than a bit intimidated by Mona’s other marker suggestions. We don’t have any art stores left in the area except Michaels and Joannes (which are NOT art stores really). I think Crayolas are waterbased, so I tried to find other markers, but the price and poor selection at the stores along with the huge selection on the internet left me confused. After a few weeks I finally just started her with Crayolas and it seems fine.

  • Avatar
    April 18, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Both my boys did lions today. They both got fed up before the whole picture was coloured but before that point, I was so excited by their imaginative ideas. Loved it. Both pictures up in the living room.
    Older one really wants to move on to the tropical birds as he is doing a pirate project at school so wants to draw parrots. :)

  • Avatar
    Moitreyee Chowdhury
    April 19, 2013 at 12:40 am

    I have always loved your blog, so I hope you take my comments in a positive way. As an art teacher, I find the Monart method limiting. The right way to teach a child how to draw animals, or for that matter, any thing, would be at first, the real thing, if not, then a 3 dimensional version of it.
    For example, if a child is interested in drawing animals, a trip to the zoo, is good idea. Talk about the lines, the circles, and basically, teach the child how to observe.
    Secondly, you can also buy the 3d plastic models of these animals, such as schleich animals, which are real 3 dimensional representation.
    As you can see, with the Monart method, or any such how to draw method, the child learns to draw the animals in one way only. Sometimes even when they see a real lion, and want to express their story, they would draw it in this style. Fo example, a sitting lion, would be alway standing.
    This is just my personal viewpoint. As I said before, I do enjoy your blog, and just felt I had to say something. I love the fact that you introduce the girls to varied materials in an open ended way.
    Please take a look at one of my favorite art books, https://books.google.com/books?id=5TWsAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=inauthor:%22Daniel+Marcus+Mendelowitz%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=GcpwUfbVFqbNiwKemYCwDA&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false,

  • Avatar
    April 21, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Jean,
    I got the book out of the library after reading your first post and liked it so much I bought it. Thanks so much for the inspiration.
    I would love to hear more about the warmups you use. I’d also love to hear about any kind of pointers or interesting things that came up as you did the lessons.

  • Avatar
    April 23, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Do you think this would be appropriate for an almost 5 year old? We are really struggling with drawing lately. I can’t sit with her if she is interested in drawing something because she gets really easily frustrated and she wants me to draw it for her. I used to be able to sit with her and we were able draw together, but she has recently been really upset and frustrated that her drawings don’t look like mine. I wonder if this book would be helpful for us.
    thank you!

  • Avatar
    April 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    The book has illustrations by 4 and 5 year olds in it who’ve used the method, so I think a motivated 5yo could definitely do it. My 4yo loses interest before her older siblings do, but she’s able to do some of the level 1 work.

  • Avatar
    May 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    My daughter learned how to draw “circles” when she was able to hold a pencil. When she was in kindergarten they taught using the Monart method. She has continued to be artistic and has taken classes and still loves creating art (watercolor is her favorite medium) and she is 21 now and a graphic arts major. I would recommend this method as a starting point and to give children confidence at an early age. Having a basic structure/idea of how to do something certainly beats re-inventing the wheel and not feeling good about the result.

  • Avatar
    Patti W
    February 21, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I love how you’ve broken this book down, but there are 5 lessons in the book and I only see 2 here. Are you still working on it?

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