Final Product

The Fat Lady


Straight edge (yardstick or similar)
Fine sandpaper
Soft cloth
Primer (if needed)
Masking tape
Overhead projector (optional)
Reference image (on transparency film if using projector) from a coloring book, online image, etc.
Chalk or pencil
Apple barrel or equivalent acrylic craft paints
Paper cups or plates (for paint)
Artist paint brushes (multiple sizes)
Drop cloth or newspaper


Prepare the work area by protecting with a drop cloth or newspapers.

Make sure the surface you will be painting on is lightly sanded and free of dust by wiping with a soft cloth. If the surface is unpainted, paint a base coat of primer.

Using the level and straight edge, measure and mark where your painting will be. When this is done, use masking tape to outline the INSIDE of the frame. You will be painting inside of this.

Sketch The Fat Lady with a pencil or chalk either freehand or using an overhead projector. If neither of these options is available to you, enlarge your reference image on a copy machine to the appropriate size. Liberally rub chalk over the back of the paper. Tape the paper in the appropriate location. Being careful not to touch the image too much, outline the entire image with a pencil. The chalk will be transferred to the working surface.

Once the surface has been prepared, begin painting using the reference image as a guide. Use whatever size paint brushes feel best in your hand. If you've never painted before, just take it slow. Start with the background and work your way in. Don't worry about details, just get the basic shape to start with.

When you're happy with the basic shape of The Fat Lady, use slightly darker colors to go back and add details to hair, eyes, shadows, etc. Use the reference image to see where shadows and details need to be.

Gently remove the masking tape. Let the painting dry overnight.

Using chalk or a pencil, draw a frame around the painting. If you are not comfortable with freehand, you can also masking tape. Overlap the background of the painting. For an extra flourish, add a half circle to the top of the frame, which will become a lion's head.

Using gold craft paint, fill in the frame you've just drawn. Add shadows and details.


© Jennifer Ofenstein (ofenjen). Tutorial was taken with permission from

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.