How to

How to Draw & Paint a Thanksgiving Turkey


Discover a simple and enjoyable way to create an adorable Thanksgiving Turkey drawing and painting project. Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, this guided lesson is perfect for kindergarten and 1st-grade students. With step-by-step instructions and helpful tips, you’ll be able to complete this project in just 40 minutes.

Materials Needed

To get started, gather the following materials:

  • 12″ x 18″ piece of sulphite paper
  • Black oil pastels
  • Colored oil pastels
  • Liquid watercolor
  • Craft feathers
  • White school glue
  • Small plastic container lid

Gorgeous Step-by-Step Guide

White Line

The Project

Drawing a Thanksgiving turkey can be a fun and creative experience. Although my own version might resemble a peacock, I found a simple method that worked well with my kindergarteners. By tracing a container top and folding the paper in half to create a crease line, we were able to achieve adorable results.

How to Draw a Turkey

  1. Begin by folding the paper in half and placing the container template on top of the crease line. This helps center the turkey and establish its size.
  2. Using a black oil pastel, trace the container top to create the turkey’s body.
  3. Add two dots for eyes and an upside-down triangle for a beak.
  4. On the crease line beside the head, draw a big, round belly that wraps around to the other side of the head (using the container top and crease line as guides).
  5. Draw a wiggly neck (the gobble gobble) below the head.
  6. Sketch two straight lines connected by claws to represent the turkey’s legs. Repeat for additional legs if desired.
  7. Now, let’s draw the tail feathers. Start by drawing a straight line above the head, extending all the way to the top of the paper.
  8. Enclose the line with a big curved shape, repeating the process on either side of the body to add as many tail feathers as you’d like.
  9. Use colored oil pastels to add lines, dots, and patterns to both the tail feathers and the body.
  10. For painting the turkey, liquid watercolor paints work best. Distribute the paints in baby food jars and provide each child with a brush. Encourage them to clean their brushes after each use.
  11. Paint each area or shape of the turkey with the desired colors. Feel free to experiment; some children may opt for a single color, while others might create vibrant rainbows.
  12. Once the painting is complete, add a touch of white glue to the top of the turkey’s head. Let each child choose and place a craft feather onto the glue. It’s a fun final touch and a great motivator to finish the painting.

Embrace the Creativity

Remember, not every child may be proficient in drawing shapes and lines. Some may struggle to connect the shapes to form a recognizable turkey. Embrace their unique creations, as each student’s Thanksgiving turkey will be precious in its own way. Enjoy this delightful project with your little ones and celebrate their artistic endeavors.

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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