Little Engine! This Train Chalk Pastel Art Tutorial is a MUCH-requested one from one of my youngest students. He is a real fan of The Little Engine that Could originally by author Watty Piper.
Train Chalk Pastel Art Tutorial
You will need the following pastel colors: blue (of course!), yellow, black, brown, green, gray and white.
We will start drawing a line with your blue pastel about 6-8 inches long and little more than half-way down your sheet of paper. This is the bottom of your engine.
I think I can…I think I can…I think I can…
Then a matching line for the top of the engine that curves upward into an almost square for the roof of the engine and down for the cab.
We need a “cow-catcher” for those pesky cows that wander onto the tracks, so in front of the engine make a triangle shape. Put a funnel on top of the long part of the engine, a small bell to ring, and a whistle that blows loudly goes on top of the engine cab.
Nana’s and Little Buddy’s little engines.
You can look at the pictures or just draw your engine the way that you would like!
The engine is blue in the book, but as I always say, this is YOUR picture, so if you would like a beautiful red, black, yellow or green engine, paint it your special way! Now this engine is not going anywhere without wheels, so let’s give him one big black wheel almost under the cab, and four little wheels that are spaced out under the engine. The wheels are trimmed with a nice gold or yellow all on the edge.
Oops! This engine is out there in space without tracks! How about some brown timbers, or just straight lines, topped off by some gray rails for your engine to chug down the way? And, there is no sky, so softly and lightly put in a clear blue sky around this beautiful engine. As a finishing touch, put a bit of steam or smoke coming out of the funnel.
Middle Girl’s little engine.
Wow! What a great engine you have painted! Be sure that you sign your name in the corner of the page, flip the paper over and name your painting…maybe “My Little Engine” or whatever you think of. And please date it too. You have done a wonderful job! You ARE an artist!!!
…I thought I could…I thought I could…I thought I could…
This train tutorial was the inspiration for Lil’ Buddy’s door of trains! And the continuation of our Painting a Day habit.
We have several more art tutorials to accompany favorite childhood books:
- I Am An Artist
- My Blue Boat (Teaching Art with Multiple Ages)
- Pete the Cat
- Blueberries for Sal
- Lentil – shadows and facial expressions
- Cat in the Hat (acrylic tutorial)
- Peter Pan (acrylic tutorial)
FEATURING YOU! YOU ARE AN ARTIST!
Looking for a video art lesson? Nana has over 600 in the You ARE an Artist Clubhouse – including a whole series just for preschoolers.
- A note on chalk pastels: Pastels are an easy, forgiving medium. Fun for children and adults alike! Details on the pastels and paper we use, how and where to purchase, and links to all of Nana’s other pastel lessons are here: Our Favorite Chalk Pastels
- The practical aspects of a mess: Pastels are blessedly messy. We always have baby wipes close by to wipe hands. We wear something we don’t mind getting stained or don a smock.
-first published September 2013
My youngest art student is turning our to be one of my best! GREAT work, Bud!!
None of my boys will ever be the same again. I fear what all my walls would look like in one week.
This is Nana from Hodgepodge…I just saw your comment on the pastel of the Little Engine that Could! I hope that your boys will enjoy this tutorial as much as we did! And always remember: They ARE artists!