So I recently unlocked a core memory y'all. When I was a little girl, my sister and I would draw this reoccurring scene of bunnies underground in their borrows with tons of tunnels connecting to one another. There were trees, carrots, bushes and more all above the ground, while roots twisted and turned, treasures were buried and sweet mini stories of baby bunnies and their momma emerged throughout the drawing.
Reflecting back on this scene now as an adult I can recognize how many opportunities there were for creative expression, story telling and so many personalized details. The most magical thing about this drawing prompt was that every time we drew it, the scene would be different! The reason why I bring this memory up is because it only JUST hit me as I was drawing up animals for my Winter Woodland Creatures drawing guide. It started when I drew up the cutest little winter fox snoozing, which led to a bear snoozing, then a bunny and then WOOOSH- I was transported back to my 7 year old self drawing at our kitchen table.
Once this prompt hit me, I HAD to give my inner child an opportunity to recreate this scene...the only difference was that I made it in winter time (usually we drew it in the spring because there were always rows of carrots sprouting from the dirt at the top of the page). I honestly can't tell you how much fun I had working on this burrowed winter landscape and I felt like I could have worked on it for another 5 hours. In my initial drawing I kept my scene pretty "safe" but I know that if you give a child this prompt- the creativity and storytelling of animal characters is endless!!
If you would like to create this Winter Landscape Burrow with your students, here is how you can get them started:
HOW TO DRAW A WINTER BURROW SCENE
1. Draw a wavy diagonal line across your page.
2. Draw one or two large trees above the line. These trees should be large/ tall and can run off the top of the page as they are in the foreground of the landscape. This means they are the closest to us. They are large and have more detail.
3. Draw another wavy line slightly above the first. This is the blanket of snow on top of the ground. Add a few more trees/ bushes to this layer- but note these objects should be slightly smaller as they are starting to go back into the middle ground.
4. Add a few more wavy lines (they can go in different directions) that look like they are going behind the initial lines. You are creating depth in your landscape by adding more middle ground and background. If you'd like to add a mountain range in the background you can also do that. Add more trees as you go but make sure they get smaller and less detailed as you go back. I have tons of different tree illustrations as part of my winter wonderland drawing guide.
5. Start drawing your tunnels (burrows). You can draw a whole on the snow layer or make a hole at the base of one of your trees to start it off.
6. Add as many different burrows as you'd like! You don't have to go into this prompt with ideas planned out ahead of time.. the beauty of this assignment is getting inspired along the way.
7. Now the fun begins! Start imagining what animals live in each burrow. Do they have a story? Are they alone, or do they have a family? How can you show a bit of that animal's personality? What is their relationship to their neighbors a burrow over? You can find my Woodland Creatures drawing guide here to use for help imagining what these animals look like. Of course, you do not have to draw them exactly how I did (in fact I don't WANT you to!) But instead, use it as a way to build some of your confidence, get a feel for the animal, and then start stretching your imagination and draw the animals how you imagine them.
8. Let your imagination run wild. Seriously. Sure, you can make your animals super realistic, burrowed exactly how they might be in nature (that's how I initially drew my first one). But this time around I knew I wanted to add more personality to my drawing and these animals. Half way through the drawing I decided to channel some "Fantastic Mr. Fox" vibes and added some human elements to these burrows. From picture frames on the walls to rocking chairs, to daddy rabbits holding a mug of coffee. Truly... let go and just draw.
9. Add any little final touches and details. Maybe add roots coming down from under the trees, hidden objects buried in the dirt... so many possibilities and I promise you... the more you draw, the more ideas you will get. Creativity is a muscle. If you haven't used it in a while it's going to be pretty weak (which is why you may not have many ideas initially) but the more you use it, the strong and stronger it will get.
Looking for the perfect books to pair with this drawing? Check these books about hibernation out!
(Tap the books for affiliate links)
You can also show the Pixar Short Called Burrow! (click the link for the trailer).
I hope you and your students enjoy this drawing prompt and tutorial. I had SO much fun creating not only the drawing guides you can use for this but also creating my own Burrow scene. If you or your kiddos create your own, I would LOVE to see them! Please tag me in your drawings on Instagram (@artwithmrs.e)
Have fun and stay warm!