I saw this wonderful project in Deep Space Sparkle, a fabulous elementary art teacher's website. I gave the children prepared, painted blue paper since we have such a limited amount of time, and that gave them a dry base upon which to paint their owls. First we looked at some photographs of snowy owls and talked about how small their beaks are, how they have feathery white feet, and what their eyes look like. We noticed that they have some striking black feathers on their chests. We also talked about how pretty it is to watch snow at night. It had just snowed the night before.
They painted a round white head with a "U" shaped body underneath. They filled it in with white tempera paint. If the blue paint mixed into the white, that was okay. I think it gives the owl some blue shadowing.
Now for details: eyes, beak, black feathers, hairdos!
The children added a branch for their owls to sit on.
Then they speckled the snowfall on with a big brush over which they brushed their hands.
They got to get messy, which most children love to have permission to do. I later realized that there was an easier way to do the speckles.....the handle of the loaded brush can be tapped smartly on an extended finger.
It took me a while to find all the speckles on the floor despite all the newspaper I put around.
Incidentally, I made the paint speckle area separate from the work area, so that the children wouldn't get more speckled than necessary.
The children outlined with black paint, which made the owls stand out well from the background.