Do you and your children save summer treasures—shells and driftwood from the beach, pinecones from a hike in the woods, a special rock, or a perfectly preserved dragonfly? Sometimes we put those items in bottles to remind us of summer fun on a cold day in January.
Today you’ll learn to draw bottles! You’ll learn 2 tricks you can use to draw any shape bottle you might use to save summer treasures. It’s so easy even younger children will catch on quickly. Then you can draw or print out pictures of treasures to put in your bottles.
Then . . . in the Variations part of this post you’ll use your imagination to draw fantastic bottles that can capture even the most fantastic summer memories! Like the special smell of hotdogs and hamburgers sizzling on the grill, the fizzy feel of cold soda hitting your tongue, rainbows lighting up the sky after a summer storm, birds song as the sun comes up, or peddling your bicycle through cool evening breezes that smell of honeysuckle!!
Let’s get started, but wait . . .Don’t miss the 2 sections at the end of this post that show how this art activity can:
- 5 ways this art activity can contribute to your children’s mental, physical, and social development
- Help your children learn more about God: What does God want us to remember?
You’ll need a few
- Bottles and vases of various shapes and sizes
- Pencils and erasers
- Crayons, markers, etc. for adding color if you wish
- Paper to draw on
That’s it. Now we can get started!
The Looking part—very important in art!
- Look down at the top of your bottle or these photos. Notice the shape is a circle
- Do the same thing with the bottom of the bottle—also a circle
- If you could cut your bottle off at any level and looked down at it—again, all up and down, you’d see a circle
- This is important to see, because many people who try to draw a cylinder (which is what a bottle is) forget those circles and draw a straight line across, especially for the bottom edge.
- Now look at what happens to those circles as you begin to turn the bottle away. What do the circles become? YES, ovals
- Notice they don’t ever become straight lines or a football shape with pointy ends!
The Drawing Part—even the simplest bottle or vase has some ins and outs, but it’s still easy to draw, using the following 2 tricks: ovals and a central, straight line or axis. Here’s what you do:
- Draw an oval for the top of your bottle
- Lightly sketch a straight center line down from the middle of that oval to where you think the bottom of your bottle should be.
- Draw another oval at the bottom with the vertical line going through its middle. Pay attention to whether the bottom oval should be the same size as the top opening or is smaller or larger. Draw your bottom oval to match the relative size you see
- Now move up and down your vertical line, lightly sketching ovals wherever you see a change in size.
- Now connect your ovals with curving in, curving out, or straight lines depending on what you see on the bottle’s sides.
- Finally erase your center line and all but the top and bottom ovals
- Here’s another type of bottle to draw and fill with with drawings or photos of summer treasures!
- Add color and Enjoy!
Don’t erase the bottom or top ovals, because we’re drawing glass bottles. If you were drawing a non-see-through container, you’d also erase the back of your bottom oval.
Here’s where you can let your imagination go and draw fantastic bottles to hold fantastic treasures!
- Turn your paper so it’s vertical or what we call portrait orientation
- Starting at the top draw an oval of any size you like
- Lightly sketch your center line down the length of your paper and draw another oval of any size at the bottom.
- Next, up and down the center line draw more ovals of different sizes—some wide, some small—lots of variety
- Connect your ovals on the sides with some curving-in lines, some curving-out lines, and some straight lines. Whatever you’d like to make your very own fantastic bottle!!
- Now fill them with pictures or drawings of special memories of your summer.
- How do you draw a special smell or sound? Perhaps draw the flower, food, or bird and draw someone sniffing or listening.
- How do you draw a rough or soft texture? Find some sandpaper, smooth cloth, or even sand or small pebbles and glue these down to give the feeling of roughness or smoothness.
- I’m sure you can come up with even more creative ways to show your memories.
5 ways this art activity can contribute to your children’s mental, physical, and social development:
- Using pencils and crayons, etc. helps children develop fine motor skills.
- This art activity helps develop visual/spatial skills and how to understand and use visual information—important in learning to interpret photos, graphs, maps, etc.
- The opportunities to make choices in this activity enhance problem-solving skills.
- Discussing their choices of things to put in their bottles and why aids in vocabulary and conversational skills.
- Creating fantastic bottles and how to illustrate a smell or a feeling encourages creative and imaginative thinking
This art activity can help your children learn more about God:
When I visit the beach I always come home with shells, drift wood, and beach glass. Why do I save treasures from the beach? Because when I feel the ridges of the shells, the velvety softness of the driftwood worn smooth by sand and water, or see the colorful sparkle of the beach glass, it brings back the memory of that special time.
Have your children hold a pinecone or other treasure they have saved. Ask them to describe how it feels, smells, looks. Then ask what they remember about when and where they found the treasure and how they felt at that time.
While summer memories are special, God tells us it’s even more important to remember how He has cared for us in the past and the blessings He gives us each day.
“Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced” Psalm 105: 5 NIV
“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:2-5 NIV
The Lord knows that just as shells remind us of the beach, things that engage our senses also help us remember His care. In the Old Testament, He commanded the Israelites to celebrate Passover, (Deuteronomy 16:1) wear phylacteries, and sometimes build memorials of stones, because things they could touch and taste and see helped them remember God’s deliverance and promises so they could trust Him in the present. verses
Now we have the Lord’s Supper and baptism, also using everyday items we can feel and smell and taste to do in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice (1 Corinthians 11:24). We can use our voices to sing praises to God and our eyes and ears to take in God’s word. We might wear a cross or make a colorful bracelet to remind us of God’s love.
All these remind us of God’s grace in Jesus who died for us and of our heavenly Father’s continuing love that provides for our daily needs. Keeping God’s deliverances and promises fresh in our memories, keeps our faith and trust in Him fresh in the present.
An Activity to Remember God’s Loving Care:
Take one of the bottles you gathered for this activity (maybe decorate it as I did with ribbon) and try one or both of the following activities:
- Draw or find photos of times when you saw how God cared for your family. Perhaps keeping you safe in a storm while camping, seeing a sunset that reminded you all of God’s creativity, or a neighbor finding your dog when it ran away. Roll these up and tie with a ribbon or fold and put in the bottle.
- In your Bible and find and write out promises God has made to care for you, such as Deuteronomy 31: 8 when He tells us He’ll never leave us or forsake us. Decorate these with pictures if you wish, and add these to the bottle also.
Now when someone in the family is feeling down or is worried, they can take out one of the papers and remember how God has cared for your family in the past or be reminded of His promises and be refreshed to trust God today.
Molly wasn’t interested in these bottles until I filled one with cheerios and dog kibble. Then she decided they were worth a second and third and fourth look! And then a GOBBLE!
Molly and I hope to see you right back soon for Another Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids!
Kathy, I always enjoy the spiritual applications to your art projects. I think the drawing examples of going from a circle to an oval and then drawing the bottle from top to bottom look pretty easy for children!
Hi Becky! Yes, this is a fun way to learn to draw a bottle, jar, mug, or vase, and can really spark some imaginative creations! I’m glad you are enjoying the spiritual applications!
Kathy, your posts are always so practical. The way you break down drawing things like bottles into simple steps with examples makes it easier to attempt. 🙂 And yes, your spiritual applications are always good.
Thank you, Jeanne!. Making things like art more understandable and accessible for everyone is one of the things I love to do. And thanks for your encouragement about the spiritual application. I keep working on making this relevant for children and their parents.
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