Virtual Museum – Draw a Shelter Animal


Create drawings inspired by portraits of furry friends in need of a home.


  • Shelter Animal Photo
  • 8.5 x 11” White Paper
  • Black Marker
  • Color pencils, crayons, or markers (optional)


  1. Research animals that are up for adoption. Many websites of local shelters will have portraits of the animals that need homes. Learn about your animal by reading its profile and carefully studying its profile photo. (Visit for images of shelter animals.)
  2. Observe your animal’s photo. Use your finger to trace the outside shape (or outline) of its body, head, and paws.
  3. On your piece of paper, use your marker to draw just the outline of your animal. The outline of your animal is the line that creates the shape of its head and body. Draw this in one continuous line.
  4. Now that you have the shape of your animal’s body and head, look for the shapes you see within your animal’s body and head. Draw the outline of the shape of its eyes, nose, and mouth.
  5. Now that you have the basic shapes of your animal drawn, you can add details such as texture. What kind of fur does it have? You can draw fur by using simple lines to create its texture.
  6. Compare your drawing to your animal’s photo. Are there any details that you missed? What else could you add?
  7. Once you have added any remaining details, add a background color to make your animal’s portrait pop!


  • What do you notice first about your animal? For example, does it have fuzzy hair or big eyes?
  • If you were to pet your animal, what would its fur feel like?
  • What else can you add to your drawing?


  • Fosters compassion towards animals
  • Introduces basic research skills
  • Develops skills in observation and drawing


  • Make a collage with paper and recycled materials inspired by your animal.
  • Research other animals in need and create portraits of them. Try drawing different types of animals.
  • Share your animal drawing with friends and family and encourage them to adopt an animal in need.
  • Arrange your artwork into a gallery show on an available wall or take photos of them and share your gallery show digitally.