Start with texture... if you can get a terrific texture your animals can be as wonky and silly as you like. For these reptiles I have created a resist effect using crayons and watercolours. This effect will give you a great mottled bumpy texture which lends itself well to scaly lumpy reptile skin. Making rubbings will also get the kids outside for a bit.
Start with some coloured crayons and do some rubbings on white A4 paper. The best rubbings can be made on different outdoor pebbled surfaces, rough concrete, or rendered walls. For my chameleon I used five different colours to get a very bright effect.
Paint over your whole piece of paper with different colours of watercolour. My chameleon has plenty of different colours on it, but with my crocodile I stuck with just green, yellow, and blue.
Once this is dry, draw your body shapes on the back. Cut them out and arrange them as you like on some A3 paper or card. Glue them down carefully. Use scraps to cut out eyes, claws, spikes, or ears. Keep the scraps for some future collage projects!
Aside from reptiles, this textured resist effect will work really well to create other creatures such as beetles, fish, or frogs.
What a wonderful way to look at the colours in nature, and the shapes of animals!