Have I mentioned lately that I am obsessed with all things charming and cozy?? Oh I haven’t? Well let me share something with you: I love CHARM! Growing up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, we never really had anywhere that I could walk or ride my bike to- and fantasized about “life in a small town” more often than I can count. As a result of my endless desire, I ended up spending the majority of my adult life living in a city that oozed charm from every corner: Charleston, SC *swoooon*. To continue this narrative, my husband and I decided to bypass the beach and spent our honeymoon in the English countryside at a perfect little Bed and Breakfast called The Three Daggers . We were in absolute heaven and often fantasize about moving to the English Countryside when we’re retired.
So why am I blabbing on with my personal backstory about my love of all things charming?? Well, when I moved back to Pittsburgh a few years back, I missed the dreamy elements of living in such a quaint and lovely city. I had a hard time combatting the grey skies and long winters, so I turned to my sketchbook. Thankfully, art provides such a powerful and productive outlet for me to release my feelings of stress, and I knew I needed to make my sketchbook time a priority. As I spent more and more time working in my sketchbook, I started seeing a few reoccurring themes: Plants, dogs, and houses.
There is something so therapeutic about drawing a house or building, and after filling pages upon pages of charming little houses in my sketchbooks, I decided to try and bring the charm to others by creating this Winter Village Drawing Guide!
I decided to create a simple and fun lesson for my students during the month of December that they will stay engaged with and excited about as we get closer and closer to the holidays and winter break. Beginning with the story Windows by Julia Denos, we talked in great detail about buildings, and about how we draw a house as a small child (square and a triangle) vs. how different all kinds of houses and buildings can look. Two other great books for this project are Home by Carson Ellis and Snow by Uri Shulevitz.
Then, using black or blue 18 x 6” construction paper and white Prismacolor pencils (the Rolls Royce of colored pencils IMO), we started the drawing! Beginning with a bumpy(ish) line towards the bottom of the page for the soft snow, my students then used my Winter Village drawing guide for their houses and towns. Yall. They completely soared- so gorgeous in every way! I loved watching them work and add their own personal special touches to (something I strongly encouraged to my students as they were working.)
These villages took about a class and a half to complete and I decided at the last moment to go ahead and add some glitter to the snow or lights. I may not be super into glitter but when I do decide to break it out- you know it’s going to be good!