Peta’s fun stuff to do at home

2: Make a nocturnal picture

Welcome back! Today I thought I’d share an activity relating to my book, Jacob Starke Loves the Dark. It is exactly the technique I used when I was producing the illustrations for the book.

Don’t forget, I’d love to see the work you produce! You can email it to, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford

This is one of the illustrations I used in my book

This would probably work best if you have some black paper. But you could make your own by painting white paper black.

So what do you have to do?

  1. First step is to create your nocturnal animals like the ones above on a piece of white paper. You can draw and colour your own, or print off the ones I have drawn and colour them in. A printable version is available here
  2. Next, cut out the animals. Handy hint: it’s best to leave a bit of white space around the shape, rather than risk cutting off an ear or a leg!
  3. Arrange them on the black paper to create a nocturnal scene. Once you’re happy with the position, stick them down
  4. Use some light coloured pencils (eg. white, yellow, pale pink, pale blue) to add background details like stars, grass, flowers etc
  5. For a really professional finish, you can use a black crayon to colour in the white edges of your animals to make them blend in more with the background
These are the fab nocturnal pictures created by Year 1s at Henham and Ugley Primary
when I visited last year

You might also like to try these extra challenges:

  1. use the same technique to create a picture set in space
  2. write a story or a poem about the picture you have created

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