Simple Snowmen (with Shading & Highlights!)

Drawing with shading and highlights is typically taught later in elementary art.  However, this easy snowman drawing technique is simple enough for a preschool art project and has a big visual impact when complete.  Using basic geometry, and just two colors, a little artist can create a fun “3D snowman” in a few minutes.


  • Light blue construction paper
  • Oil Pastels (White and Blue are necessary, other colors as preferred)


First, using the blue oil pastel, draw three half circles stacked vertically so that the open ends are facing the center of the paper.  The ends of the middle half circle should touch the top and bottom circle.

Next, using the white oil pastel, complete each circle by drawing three half circles facing the other direction, with each end point connecting to the open blue half circles.  (See below.)

Using the tip and/or side of the pastels, color a long the edge of each circle building up the edge so that it is not just a single line, but do not fill in the full circle.  The center of each “ball” should be the color of the light blue paper.


You’ve built a simple snowman!  Now time to add character and context.

Using a black oil pastel, or any preferred color, add eyes and mouth by drawing little charcoal dots or squares.  Use a brown oil pastel or colored pencil to add twiggy arms at the sides of the center “snowball.”  A long skinny orange triangle at the center of the face makes a nice carrot nose.  Hats are fun too, but optional.

For the background, begin by adding the snowman’s shadow.  Use the blue oil pastel to add a simple shadow.  Drawing lightly, extend the shadow line from the blue half circle side of the snowman so that one edge of the  shadow begins where the bottom white and blue half circles connect.  (See below.)  The other edge should begin just below the middle of the bottom blue half circle.  Using the side of the blue oil pastel, lightly fill in the shadow, extending away from the snowman to the edge of the page.  (See below.)

Using the white pastel draw the horizon and fill in the snowy ground.  Add stars or snowflakes to complete the sky.


Interested in learning more advanced drawing techniques or trying other snow-themed activities?  The snowman images below are shown in order of complexity starting with toddler/preschool activities and progressing through elementary/middle school STEAM concepts.  Links to posts below!

Snowman Progression Preview

To further explore art, math and science concepts through snowman-inspired activities, go to the following links:

Looking for more snow and winter-themed activities that include more complex math and science topics?  The images below display snow-themed activities incorporating elementary through middle school STEAM concepts.  Links to posts below!

Snow Project Preview

For more winter-themed art activities above that incorporation math, science and engineering concepts (including the projects shown above) go to the following links:




8 thoughts on “Simple Snowmen (with Shading & Highlights!)

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