Dogs Inspired by George Rodrigue


For this project students will sketch a dog, then color it using Crayola Slick Stix and liquid water color.  Using George Rodrigues’s Blue Dog paintings for inspiration, students will focus on creating a fun and exciting piece through the use of vibrant color.George Rodrigue

George Rodrique

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsGeorge Rodrigue (born March 13, 1944) is a Cajun artist who grew up in New Iberia, Louisiana. Rodrigue began painting outdoor family gatherings framed by moss-clad oak trees in an area of French Louisiana known as Acadiana.  More recently and worldwide he is known for his creation of the Blue Dog series of paintings, featuring a blue-hued dog, attributed to his deceased dog named Tiffany. The Blue Dog was made popular in adds by companies like Xerox, joining famous pop artists such as Andy Warhol.  The blue-hued, ghostly spaniel/terrier is often featured with a white nose and yellow eyes.–Wikipedia

Learn more about George Rodrigue


  • 8 1/2 x 11 water color paper–one sheet per student (paper is expensive, if mistakes are irreparable, the student can flip the paper over)
  • sketching pencils
  • gum erasers
  • Crayola Slick Stix 6 packs
  • 36 salsa cups
  • 36 plastic tumbler for rinsing water
  • 6 colors liquid water color; 3 warm, 3 cool, no black
  • 36 medium paint brushes
  • 1-2 paper towels per student


  1. Gather your materials and bring them to class.
  2. Arrange the tables so you have students working so they can share the paint between four of them.
  3. Set out your 36 salsa cups.  Doing 6 cups per color, fill the cups halfway with the liquid water color.  Fill the rest with water–giving you about a 50% solution.  Place one of each color in each table grouping.
  4. Fill the tumblers with water and place one at each seat.
  5. Fill the tumblers with water and place at each seat.


  1. Review what vibrant or intense color means.  Discuss how the intensity of color make us feel.
  2. Review what it means to sketch.  Sketching is making very light marks with the pencil.  The pencil should not be making indentation in the paper and should be easily erased.
  3. Walk the students through drawing the dog face.  The paper should be portrait orientation.  Draw a circular or oval shape that takes up most of the paper.  Click through the thumbnails below for each step

4.  Erase all the unnecessary lines (like the cross lines in the face).  Have the students put their name on the back.

5.  Go over the outline of the dog face using one color of slick stick–yellow might not be a good color.  Remind students they do not need to press hard on the SLICK STIX and they shouldn’t be rolled out too far.

6.  Using very simple (NOT DETAILED) designs or patterns with their SLICK STIX, students can decorate the background.

6.  Have a student pass out the paper towels and brushes.  While the paper towels and brushes are being distributed, review the following with students.

  • Have the students fold their paper towel into quarters.
  • When changing colors student must rinse out their brushes completely in their cup.
  • Then they should LIGHTLY TAP the brush on the edge of their cup and slide against the rim to get rid of excess water.
  • Finally, in order to retain the vibrant color in the paint, they should blot the brush on their paper towel.

7.  Students should start by painting their dog first.  Suggest their dog color contrast their background color.


After the projects are done they will need to be prepared for display.  Cut a 10.5 x 14 piece of colored construction paper to complement each student’s artwork.  (Save the left over–we can use it for other projects.)  Ask your teacher for labels with each student’s name (they usually have them for displaying work in the class).  If they don’t have labels, use a fine tip black marker to write the names on the construction paper. You’ll want to mount each art piece on the paper, centering it width-wise, but leaving at least two inches at the bottom for the student’s name/label.



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