Sun and Moon Painting – Art Lesson With Warm and Cool Colors

Explore warm and cool colors with this Sun and Moon Drawing art lesson.

This sun and moon drawing tutorial is one of the best projects to teach kids about warm and cool colors and the end result will always make them proud.

Drawing the Sun and Moon - Warm and Cool Tones Art Lesson - This kids art project is suitable for all ages - you can teach it to young children in preschool, kindergarten, first grade, and even older kids!

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Teaching children art at home or in the classroom can actually sound like a more daunting task than it actually is. One thing to consider first is who your class is and how much art they already have before you teach them.

Whether it’s just your child in a homeschool classroom or a whole group, there are some basics you’ll want to cover, whether right away or just at some point during the year. One of them is warm and cool colors.

Most schools that have art classes will teach this at some point, but if it’s not used regularly, they may have forgotten.

Tips on how to teach warm and cool colors and the difference

Art Lesson on Warm and Cool Colors

If the kids you’re teaching are young, like preschoolers, older kindergarteners, first graders, it might be the first time they’ve heard it, so I would just ask them and if they know about it, use that information to help you teach the lesson by asking them questions while you’re teaching.

If your child is older, use this resource to review knowledge and guide them on how to use this resource as a tool to create their own artwork.

Ask questions to help them understand

I begin lessons with all age groups I teach, including kindergarten through seventh and eighth grade, by asking if they have learned this lesson before and, if so, what they remember about it.

Then I ask them questions like, “If I asked you to imagine the color red, what temperature would it be in your mind?” or ask them to tell me what colors are in nature and what temperature they think those colors would be.

Then, let’s go back to the basics – Warm colors would be shades of red, orange, yellow, and cool colors would be shades of blue and purple. Green can actually go either way, depending on its hue, so a bright spring green would lean more towards the warm side while a darker green would lean towards the cool side. It’s somewhere in the middle.

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Also, overlaying pink, it tends to be a warm color, as in sunset. Depicting the color of fire helps illustrate warm colors, while the night sky helps illustrate cool colors. This is where the sun and moon painting comes into play.

Let’s draw

Once this is done, you can move on to the painting part of the class and you will want to have your canvas or canvas board, whichever you prefer, ready if possible, so that the children don’t have to spend too much time drawing, or stress about getting it right, and miss out on the coloring part, which is the purpose of the lesson.

Drawing the Sun and the Moon

If you are focusing only on cool or warm colors or have limited time, you can prepare drawings of the sun and moon and ask students to just color them.

Canvas or canvas board (cheaper but still effective, except they don’t have a wooden base inside.)

  • Pencil
  • Tracing paper
  • Transfer Paper

Draw the first example on a piece of fabric until you get the design you want. If you are nervous about this, start with a circle and divide it in half. I made my center line wavy to represent a nose on both the sun and moon, but that is up to you. Then draw an eye on both and a mouth line. The eyes can be open or closed. Add triangles for the points on the sun side.

Drawing the Sun and the Moon

Next, use stencil paper and trace your design onto it so you can easily copy it for the rest of the kids. (If you are only teaching 2 or 3 kids, this step may not be worth your time and may be easier to trace them all onto fabric yourself.)

Follow up if necessary

Now, using the transfer paper, line both the paper and tracing paper up on the white fabric, then trace the image to transfer onto the fabric. Repeat on as many fabrics as you need. I recommend placing a disposable tablecloth on the table they will be painting on and asking them to put on another blanket.

The Sun and the Moon Painting

Art supplies

For maximum artistic experience, if you have time, have each child draw their own sun and moon.

See also Christmas Tree Card Idea

To paint on canvas, your students will need:

  • color chart or per sheet
  • tissue
  • paint cup with water
  • The brushes come in several sizes.
  • Acrylic paint comes in the following colors: Red, orange, yellow, hot pink, black, navy blue or dark blue, turquoise, light blue, white and yellow

Optional colors if you want to give your baby a few more choices: Dark and light purple, green, light pink, gray, light yellow

Lesson Guide

Start by asking the children to choose a paint color before you pour, unless you want to simplify it by giving them all the same colors. I did this with my younger class and it worked. Some of the children didn’t use every color, but it didn’t create much drama.

This part of the class will take a few minutes, so prepare students by telling them that after you pour the paint and give them a quick tutorial, they can start working.

Now ask your child to choose one side, the sun or the moon, to start with, and remember to tell them that the goal is to keep the warm colors on one side and the cool colors on the other.

Start drawing

It’s best to paint one sky at a time and paint both skies first, at least the first coat, so the paint has time to dry and if a second coat is needed, you can finish painting.

They can use a small brush to outline the outside of the sun or moon in the sky in the color of their choice, and once they have those lines established, they can use a larger brush to paint the sky. It will be faster and create fewer brush strokes. Some kids may not understand that instruction, so if you see them trying to paint the sky with a small brush, ask them to change.

While the first coat is drying, have them switch sides and paint the other sky. Then they can start painting the sun and moon, and if they need another coat of sky by the time they are done, have them let it dry when it’s time to paint the details on it.

See also 3D Easter Egg Card

Color the sky

Keep drawing

If they choose to open the mouth, they can leave that part unpainted and just paint it white. There is no need to paint it white.


Once dry, check the sun and moon to see if they need a second coat. I tell them that if they see white canvas sticking out or a lot of brush strokes, they need another coat.

Details about the sun

The final part is to add details like the reflections in the moon sky, and the tips of the sun, as well as the facial details. This is where the kids get creative and add their own touches. They can ask for help, but most of the kids I teach do it on their own. Adding lines between the tips of the sun and different shades of blue in the moon sky will add some movement.

Looks nice

Sky detail

Gold if they choose would add little stars to the moon and highlights to the sun head, and if you want a little spray paint for a finishing touch, that would look great too.

Details about the Sun

Cool color

Draw lines

To add a splatter effect – take a small amount of water and a little gold paint and mix them together on one side of the plate. You don’t want it dripping wet, but thinner than just paint. Then hold the brush over the painting, with the painting flat on the table, facing up. Use a larger brush to dab the brush with paint and move it around the canvas to spread it as much as you want.

Art Lesson on Warm and Cool Colors


It makes the Sun and Moon drawing stand out a little more and finishes it off nicely. Encourage your child to add their own touches and make it their own and not feel like it has to be exactly like yours (If you are drawing a pattern, that is.)

Art of the Sun and the Moon

Art projects for kids

The Sun and Moon Art Painting is Completed

Complete Warm and Cool Color Art Project for Kids

Drawing the Sun and the Moon

Also check:

Sun and Moon Art Project for Kids

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