Dahlov Ipcar, Bull of Dreams

When viewing art, allow a few minutes just to observe. Careful observation allows time to use all the senses, become engaged, and notice things missed at first glance. Make a list of everything observed: objects, colors, shapes, patterns or textures, the quality of the line, as well as the feelings that the work conveys to you.


Dahlov Ipcar, Bull of Dreams, 1980, Lithograph, Gift of Mrs. Dahlov Ipcar, 1982, 82.13.2 

Guiding Questions:

  • What patterns do you see and where do you find them?
  • Are there patterns or shapes that look familiar to you?
  • How did this artist use line in this image? Can you name all the kinds of line that you find? For example; thick, thin, dark, light, straight, curved, etc.
  • What does this image make you think of?
  • Why might an artist use repeated line and pattern like this in a drawing?

Using this image as inspiration, let’s create a drawing with pattern!

Gather the following materials: 

  • A sheet of paper
  • A pencil and a fine point marker pen 
  • An eraser
  • Tape for taping the corners of the paper down to a sturdy table surface, desk or drawing board might be helpful.

First step:

Gather some source images of an animal that appeals to you.

Second step:

Once you have your images for inspiration, begin by drawing in pencil the outline of your animal so that it fills the paper. Using pencil is makes it easy so you can erase if you need to restate a part of your drawing. Don’t forget to put in some of the details, like your animal’s feet, tail, mane, eyes, etc. You can go over your outline with your marker pen now or wait until your drawing is done.

Third step:

Within the outline of your animal begin to organize and draw shapes, using pencil to sketch a circle or cylinder shape for the neck; rectangles or ovals within the torso, perhaps finding triangles as part of the face or ears.

Fourth step:

Begin to fill your animal’s shapes with patterns! Think of all the different repeating patterns you noticed in the artwork above and start with some of those. Then expand to develop your own patterns of repeating shapes and lines until your animal is filled with designs. You can use pencil and then go over your shapes when you are done, or you can draw with your marker.

Fifth step:

Optional! Using pencil and then marker, create patterns and shapes around your animal that might suggest where they live.

Sixth step:

Share your creations with us by uploading your finished work here: 

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For more information on this artwork visit this page on the Farnsworth Art Museum website: 


Dahlov Ipcar, Bull of Dreams, 1980, Lithograph, Gift of Mrs. Dahlov Ipcar, 1982, 82.13.2 

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