Homeschool Art at the Beach-or Anywhere!

Includes # 98 from’s Great Summer Resource : 101 Things To Do This Summer list – Learn how to draw!  Yes, you can learn!  Not all great artists are born. Here are 100 free art lessons–

This is just one of the fabulous articles from’s virtual magazine – Summer Fun


beach 1


When we went to the beach house, we sat at the coffee table and looked out at the view. The brilliant teal blue water and the colorful beach umbrellas. Yes, we really had made it to the beach. And on that afternoon, Nana showed us how to capture the brilliant colors in pastels.

(Maybe you are headed to the mountains or on a camping trip? You can paint a Walk in the Woods.)

Beach Umbrellas chalk Pastel art tutorial

Getting started with chalk pastels: If you have not enjoyed chalk pastels before you can purchase one set to try with the whole family. A basic starter set is available for less than $10 at your local arts and crafts store.

Colors Needed: Start by gathering your colors. Teals and blues for the ocean, browns and tans for the sand. Also a light blue for the sky. Have your baby wipes handy (we used some newspapers to cover the table since this wasn’t our own home).


Art Tutorial Steps:

1. Using a dark blue, draw your ocean line. The water looks darker and is deeper the further away from shore you go. So make this first line nice and dark. We decided later that we should have moved the line up a bit more to give more room for the umbrellas and happenings on the beach.

2. After your first dark line, finish your ocean with your beautiful teals.

3. Make the shore a bit of a curve, anyway you’d like. Fist in your colors a bit but not much. Remember to keep that dark line visible. (To ‘fist in’ make a fist with your hand and use the soft part of your hand near your pinkie to blend. Fisting blends the colors and softens the lines. Nana teaches all about fisting in her video art tutorial on how to draw a tornado).

4. Next use your browns and sand colors to fill in your beach. Turn your pastel stick on its side and lightly fill in the sand. Fist it in a bit, blending the colors. There’s not much variation on the color of sand but you want it to look natural.

5. And, finally, use your lightest blue to color your sky – lightly, with your pastel stick on its side. Make sure your hand is clean and dry before you fist in your sky. You don’t want too many of your sand colors blending with the sky.


6. Oh goody! Now it’s time to draw the umbrellas. Pick any color you like. Ours were royal blue, green and orange.

Just free hand your beach umbrellas. You can tell from our pictures about how big they should be. Draw some darker lines to show where they fold. You can use the same color for the stand.

7. Now it’s time to add the details of your beach. You can make chairs under your umbrellas by making small rectangles. Use black to make the heads of the people sitting in your chairs. Just a semi-circle. Everything is very dark up under the shade of the umbrella – in contrast to the bright sunlight on the beach.

8. Nana then showed us how to add the cool shade under the umbrellas. Take your darkest brown and just color right under and along side the beach chairs. Cool your beach folks off.

Nana tucked a new set of umbrellas in the corner of her picture.  And an orange umbrella! You may want a few sea oats too. Turn your pastel stick on its side and lightly tap.  Makes lovely sea oats.


Define your surf a bit with your white. Maybe make a bit of foam. You might decide to add the black fins of the gliding porpoises like my daughter did. And the splash of one porpoise being playful.

Be sure to pick a color and sign your name. Now you have your vacation spot saved in a pastel picture.



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 (100 free lessons now) are all contained in the post Pastels plus links to tutorials plus the video The Very Few Must Have Supplies for Chalk Pastel Art.  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.

Be sure to subscribe to our Hodgepodge YouTube channel for free video art tutorials!



Homeschooling for over a dozen years now, Tricia faces a daily dose of chaos with five children from preschool to high school. She and her mother, Lucia Hames, are co-authors of art curriculum for all ages and a series of cookbooks at Hodgepodge. She and her husband, Steve, are also owners of The Curriculum Choice and Habits for a Happy Home.

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