Back to Blog

Animal Ed-Ventures At Home: Painting with Pups!

Written by: Arizona Humane Society

Paint a Beautiful Desert Landscape With Your Pups!

Thank you for joining our Animal Ed-Ventures At Home! This activity is a great way to create a beautiful piece of art while spending time with your canine companions. Have fun using your fingers and your dog’s paws as a paintbrush!  Supplies:
  • Pet Personality Check: Check in with your dog first! If your dog doesn’t like having his or her paws touched, he or she will probably not enjoy painting with you. Instead you can follow along by finger painting.
  • Pet-Friendly Paint: Kid's Tempera paint is a great washable, nontoxic option.
  • Paper Plates: These will serve as your painter's palette.
  • Canvas: This will display your beautiful work.
  • Floor Covering: Cardboard or old newspapers will protect your floor.
  • Clean Up: Paper towels or an old rag to wash your dog's paws between colors.
  1. Choose a photo you would like to recreate with paint with your pup, and prepare your paint colors on a paper plate.
  2. Begin painting the background with your fingers, starting with the sky. Paint the canvas white with your fingers, then add some blue and work your way down, lightening the sky as you go. Pro tip: When painting consider the Golden Ratio, try to split your canvas into thirds and avoid having the mountains or something similar right in the middle of the canvas.
  3. Clean your hands and begin working on the next element of your painting, such as the mountains. Aim to keep the colors light so the paw prints can stand out!
  4. Lightly blot off any excess paint with a paper towel. If the paint is too thick, it will crack when it dries.
  5. Let the background dry. This is a good time to take the dog for a walk and take some photos of desert flowers to inspire you and help you decide on the colors and composition you would like to paint. Pro tip: Take photos during the "golden hour!" This special time an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset will give your photos a lovely, golden glow.
  6. Prepare your flower color paints on paper plates.
  7. Gently press your dog's paw into the paint. It is easier and a lot less messy to just use one paw throughout the activity. Lightly press his or her paw onto the canvas to print your flowers! Once you’ve finished with a color, give their paw a wipe on an old towel.
  8. Repeat the paw printing process with your other colors. Look at your photo inspiration to get ideas for the composition, but you'll want to move quickly... otherwise, your dog may become bored!
  9. Make sure the paint is not too think. If it is, just wipe your dog's paw and then add a few more paw prints to evenly spread out the paint.
  10. Clean off your dog's paws with warm, soapy water and leave your painting to dry. Pro tip: Tempera paints are washable, so your painting could become damaged over time. It is a great idea to preserve your awesome artwork with a spray sealer, such as Mod Podge Matte Clear Acrylic Sealer using the instructions on the package.

We would love to see your pawesome artwork when you are finished! Please feel free to share with us on AHS' Facebook page and be sure to join us for future activities each Wednesday at 10 a.m.! AHS' Education and Outreach team inspires a compassionate community of animal lovers through education events across the Valley and youth programs in schools and in our shelters. They also care for our Animal Teachers, who are ambassadors who help young animal lovers develop an appreciation and compassion for living things through interaction and up-close observation. Our Animal Teachers come to us from a variety of circumstances. Some were surrendered or transferred to us from another rescue organization, while others were rescued after being abused, abandoned or injured. They become ambassadors in our education programs as their stories are filled with a message of caring, empathy and hope. Both our Animal Teachers and our own companion pets will join us in our Animal Ed-Ventures At Home weekly series.  

Learn More About AHS' Youth Programs

April 14, 2020