I love celebrating the Day of the Dead; I love drawing Day of the Dead to commemorate and learn about this tradition. There are so many beautiful things to draw, from Papel Picado to La Catrina and Sugar Skulls. Students also love learning about the Day of the Dead.
Celebrating Halloween is exciting and some students can be very sad when it's over. However, the Day of the Dead is right after Halloween! So the celebrations can continue in your classroom! It's wonderful to celebrate the Day of the Dead in November. The traditions, emotion, and vivid colors that enrich Day of the Dead celebrations enrich learning.
day of the dead activities
In addition to art projects, we enjoy watching short clips from the Pixar movie Coco in class. It's good to see Papel Picado animated and to see the streets full of parties.
I've wanted to do directional drawings on Day of the Dead for a while. This is the year! I worked with my husband to create 8 targeted drawings for students to enjoy. My husband grew up in Mexico City and I enjoyed learning about this vacation from him.
Celebrate the Day of the Dead with Directional Drawings
Day of the Dead Drawing: Classroom Display
Combine these 8 designs to create a beautiful display or classroom giveaway. Cut out each directional design and collect it when finished. The teacher can group the marigolds to decorate the corners of the bulletin board. Then add the Papel Picado at the top of the screen. Finally, fill the interior with the collection of beautiful illustrations by Pan de Muertos, Sugar Skulls, Candles, Xoloitzcuintli and La Catrina!
Day of the Dead Raffle: Mini Brochure
Another great way to display final artwork is to have each student create their own mini sketchbook. Students can collect and save each drawing. Share information about each item with students so they can learn the meaning of each drawing. In addition, students can add notes to the images on the side of the paper to help them remember what each image means. When students draw their pictures, it is helpful to cut out the drawing and paste it on colored paper for a good presentation. Students are sometimes frustrated when color goes beyond the drawing lines. Cropping the artwork creates a clean final presentation and makes your paintings stand out!
Drawing Day of the Dead: Drawing Center
If you are doing larger work as a class, it helps to have something to keep students busy so you can help others. Directional designs are perfect in this scenario! Students can work independently on a directed drawing while the teacher supervises a painting station or work in small groups with students. These directed drawings are a great clipboard activity for students when they finish their work early.
Drawing the Day of the Dead: How to Complete a Directed Drawing
If you're looking for tips on how to finish Day of the Dead led drawings so that student work looks complete and beautiful, read my blog post on a Thanksgiving turkey led drawing. Finally, simple tips are detailed so that students' work is well finished and beautiful:Draw held by Turkey
Drawing the Day of the Dead: 8 Images Celebrating the Day of the Dead
How to draw a marigold on day of the dead.
First, when teaching students how to draw a marigold for Day of the Dead, it is helpful for them to start with the inside of the flower and then work their way up to the outer petals. When coloring the petals, have students select a darker orange for the center of the petals and blend it with a lighter orange or yellow as they get closer to the edge. This will help create depth in your drawing. Finally, encourage students to mix two types of vegetation for the leaves.
information about marigold
The cempasúchil flower has an orange-yellow color. It is often used to decorate the ofrenda (altar) and the paths leading to the ofrenda from the street in front of the houses. The Path of Flowers leads souls to the Offering.
The name cempasúchil derives from the Nahuatl wordcempohuaxochitlit means "20 flowers" or "many flowers". Nahuatl is a language used by the Aztec civilization.
How to draw La Catrina
When teaching students to draw La Catrina, first give them a sketch of the shape of the skull. Young artists can sometimes get discouraged when they can't get the first step right and this affects the rest of the drawing. Then show students how to draw the hat and work the body down. It's fun to decorate La Catrina's dress and hat with bright colors. Before asking students to complete their colors, look at La Catrina's beautiful parades and sculptures to examine which colors are commonly used.
Information about La Catrina
La Catrina was created around 1912 by Mexican cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada as a critique of the Mexican middle class who aspired to resemble Europeans and hide their indigenous roots. The artwork was made as a political cartoon for a newspaper.
It is now used as a representation of death during Day of the Dead celebrations. La Catrina became an important element of this celebration. She is often depicted on statues and figurines, and people dress like her too.
How to draw day of the dead dog
There are some simple tips to help students draw Day of the Dead Dog Xoloitzcuintli. Again, providing students with the skull shape and body part is very helpful. This gives students a good start and a point of reference for next steps.
Remind students to be patient with themselves, especially when trying to draw hind legs. Help students see the curved shapes on the leg. It is helpful to model this step on the board and show students that it is sometimes necessary to erase lines several times to improve the shape. Remind them that erasing lines is part of the art and that everyone needs to change things up sometimes when they leave.
These Xoloitzcuintli puppies are getting so cute. One way to complete the art is to have the students color the bones with white crayons, then color the dog with watercolor paint! The color does not stick to the crayon.
Information about Xoloitzcuintli
The Xoloitzcuintli is a hairless dog believed to be the companion that guides souls in the afterlife. Xoloitzcuintli is considered the protector of souls.
On the Day of the Dead, Xoloitzcuintli takes souls back to the Ofrendas to see his family and eat what's left of food.
How to draw a sugar skull
Learning how to draw a sugar skull is so much fun! Again, the outline of a skull can be very useful in supporting young artists' learning. This is also a great activity to talk about symmetry. Have students repeat the same shape on each side of the skull.
Encourage students to leave room for a name on the front of the skull. Sugar skull designs are highly detailed, but edible sugar skulls have simpler details. It's also fun to show students what sugar skulls look like. More information and photos can be found on this website:sugar skull
Sugar Skull Information
Sugar skulls are used as decorations in offerings. They are also given to people. Sugar skulls often have the person's name written on their forehead. People write the name of the person they give the sugar skull to or write their own name. They are used to commemorate the deceased in a joyous way.
These sugar skulls are sold by street vendors, corner stores, department stores and bakeries. They are made from sugar and icing and are hollow in the middle. They are decorated with colored icing.
how to draw candles
A simple directional drawing to do with students is to show them how to draw sails. Candles are a very geometric shape. Drawing cylinders is also useful for math!
Teach students to create the illusion of candlelight by using white mixed with the candle color on top of the candle. Then, as they show, you want to blend the darker color towards the bottom. This makes it look like the flame is glowing!
information about candles
Candles represent light and hope. They are lit in honor of the deceased. People can place as many candles as they like in their offerings.
People leave candles lit during the celebration or longer. You change the candles as needed. A variety of candle styles on offer.
How to draw shredded paper
I love teaching students how to draw shredded paper. They are also good when cut out of tissue paper, but this can sometimes be a little tricky for younger students. By designing Papel Picado, students will learn about the traditional motifs used in these beautiful banners.
Information about Papel Picado
Papel Picado is used as a decoration for the Day of the Dead. They are made from tissue paper of different colors that have been carefully cut into pictures. The shredded paper had various designs, often with flowers, skulls, birds, candles and crosses. They are used to create a happy atmosphere with their bright colors of orange, purple and green. They are usually hung for a few weeks while the offering is made.
How to design a photo display
Showing photos is an important part of the celebration, which is why I've included them in this targeted drawing pack. Students can simply draw the board and leave it blank. However, it could be fun if the class could insert historical figures from Mexico onto the board to learn more about Mexican culture.
Information about viewing photos.
In the ofrenda, people put pictures of the people for whom the offering is made. It is a way of remembering the relatives and letting the souls know what the offering is so that they can enjoy it.
It's common to remember the person by also adding things you liked or items that symbolize who that person was, like your favorite book, your reading glasses, or anything you liked or used a lot. In addition, people also place the deceased's favorite fruits, food and drink in the offering.
How to draw Pan de Muertos
At first I was skeptical when my husband said I should include the Pan de Muertos drawing. I thought: "How can I draw bread, it will only look like a drop." However, this was really fun to do. Warning: Seeing the photos of the Pan de Muertos makes your mouth water!
This directional design involves very simple circular shapes. First, observe with students how the lines on the back are shorter to create an illusion of depth. After that, it's really fun to sprinkle the bread with sugar. Finally, students can also sprinkle pieces of salt on top or add a little glitter to make the bread taste better.
Information about Bread of the Dead
Bakeries make Pan de Muertos in October and November for Day of the Dead celebrations. It is a sweet bread flavored with anise and orange. The bread is sprinkled with sugar. It features a circular skull shape in the center and bone shapes adorning the sides. People like to eat this bread during the celebration. Also, they put some bread in the offering for their deceased relatives to enjoy.
Final tips for drawing Day of the Dead
Presenting cultural significance is very important when designing the Day of the Dead. I hope this information has helped you understand each item. If you want to dig deeper into the cultural significance, visit this site:Day of the Dead. Most of the information on this page is from my husband, we also used the website link above to provide more information.
I always include a template of how to make the first shape in my directed drawing resources. I have found that this makes students feel so successful and independent! Check out my Dia de los Muertos led designs featured in the photos on this page and available in my TPT store!
Here are some great posts to help you get started with directed drawing in your classroom.