Thursday, July 18, 2013

Illustrated Dictionary Pages

Illustrated Dictionary Pages, Art 3

This art project was inspired by the very awesome art of Kristy Patterson. She has a blog at Flying Shoes Art Studio with tons of her artwork on it. Much of her art is centered around beautiful illustrations on old discarded dictionary pages. This approach to her art is intriguing to me because it shows the complexities and beauty of seemingly ordinary objects. There is a layer of depth and authenticity that is brought in by the aged and textured dictionary page background.

I loved doing this project and I think it's one of those assignments that my students also enjoyed. The cool part is that it's a short project with nice creative results. It's a pleasant break from the more labor intensive stuff we've done.

The concept behind this is to take a dictionary page and illustrate one of the words from that page onto the page itself. It was funny to see my student's confusion when I told them they could actually tear pages out of the dictionary.

 For the most part this project was done with ink pen and soft pastels. Although, we used colored pencils for small details as well. Each student completed 3 different pages and illustrations. I gave them one full week and a weekend to complete all three illustrations.


  1. Old dictionary to tear out your pages from
  2. Soft pastels
  3. Colored pencils (for details)
  4. Ink pens (for outlines and details)
  5. Glue sticks
  6. Black construction paper (to glue your pages onto when finished)
  1. Attain an old dictionary
  2. Have students tear out pages and decide on the word they'll be illustrating.
  3. Brainstorm layouts and ideas
  4. Lightly sketch in pencil 
  5. Outline with ink pen
  6. Color with soft pastel
  7. When it's complete, use a glue stick to glue the dictionary page onto some black construction paper to give it better stability. 

Comment below with your thoughts and suggestions. ^-^ 

Teacher Example

Student Examples


  1. I recently discovered your dictionary drawing of a bee on Pinterest. It looks VERY similar to my work.

    1. I visited your flying shoes page, and saw the bee print you are selling there.

      Both works have a bumble bee placed on a dictionary page in an asymmetrical fashion. Other than that, there are no similarities that I can see. I do not believe that this lesson plan is a copy of your work. I have done this lesson plan with my student! Too Cool! you are not the only person with this idea, many have done it, and there are lots of folks with dictionaries.

  2. Katie, love this lesson, and there's so many ways you can alter it for little ones or big ones. I just did a one day lesson on this with Middle school students for my student teaching including a short writing assessment. Results were pretty good for a one day lesson. Miss u.
    --Sara (ArtEd)

  3. This is awesome. Going to do this with my art classes next week! Thanks for the awesome inspiration!