Train Chalk Pastel Art Tutorial

Little Engine!

This pastel 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 at You will need the following pastel colors: blue (of course!), yellow, black, brown, green, gray and white.

The Little Engine that Could art tutorial 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…

train chalk art tutorial 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.

train chalk pastel art tutorial 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.

little engine that could chalk art 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!

Little blue engine that could 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.

finished little engine 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 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…

photo 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:

Art for All Ages bundle at All of our ebooks for one special price! Plus, Amanda Bennett is giving away this set over at her unit studies blog! Enter to win.

–> Special Discount! use code FALLART and receive $5 off the price of this bundle – that’s ALL our ebook tutorials for the price of A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels! Art for All Ages bundle!

  • 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 (50+ free lessons now) are all contained in the post Pastels plus links to tutorials. A simple set is very affordable. Nana also teaches acrylic lessons.
  • 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.
  • Encouragement: You Can Be an Artist! 10 Day series

Have you subscribed to Hodgepodge on YouTube? We are working on more video art tutorials for the future!


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      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!

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