Denslow Wizard of Oz Illustrations Study: Activity # 7

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Denslow Wizard of Oz Illustration Picture Study | Harrington Harmonies

Since we are studying the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the study wouldn’t be complete without a picture study of the original W. W. Denslow Wizard of Oz illustrations. Though he illustrated a few books for Baum before The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the first book in the series was to be the only one of the Oz stories illustrated by Denslow.

Denslow Wizard of Oz Illustrations Picture Study | Harrington Harmonies

When you look at the cover illustration you can point out the symmetry of the mirroring image of the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman.

I recently bought a paperback version that included all the original color illustrations as well as the numerous monochromatic others and I have to say it was worth the extra investment. However, because the copyright has expired you can get a full version of the book with the illustrations by Denslow here for FREE.  Take some time to view the illustrations. Point out what you like about them and how they add to the story. Did you envision each event as Denslow did?

 Denslow Wizard of Oz Illustrations | Harrington Harmonies

I personally loved and enjoyed seeing the original illustrations so true to the events in the story. It was fun seeing them at the Oz Museum after we had just read the book. We could practically retell the story with them. It was an exercise in narration, Charlotte Mason style.

Denslow Wizard of Oz Illustrations Picture Study

Here are a few discussion points you can make with your child as you do your picture study of the cowardly lion. (right)

Cowardly Lion by W. W. Denslow Wizard of Oz Ilustrations | Harrington Harmonies

  1. What just happened at this point in the story? Retell the event. The Lion just struck the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman and after Toto went after him Dorthy scolded the Lion for going after such a “poor little dog”.
  2. Where is this taking place? The forest
  3. What is the main focal point of the illustration? Point out how the surrounding characters and colors are placed making Dorthy and the Lion the main focus.
  4. What kinds of lines are present in the background? Notice the lines go in two directions creating depth and texture. Find several other places where lines create texture.


If you look in the lower left hand corner you can see Denslow’s signature. He always signed with a sea horse. You may like to discuss how artists mark or sign their work.  Perhaps for today’s activity your child might like to design their own mark!

Now lets look at a few of the monochromatic, or one color, illustrations:

Monochromatic PinkMonochromatic Illustrations by Denslow






These type of one color illustrations are throughout the book. Let your child create their own monochromatic illustration for their favorite Oz character or other Oz place or event. Use a good black pen and have your child choose one color for compliment. Here is the one my child made for the Tin Woodman:

Child's Monochromatic Illustration for the Tin Woodman | Harrington Harmonies

Coming the rest of the week:
Day 7. Denslow Artist Study { You are HERE}
Day 8. Make Emerald City Spectacles
Day 9. Biography Study: The Life of L. Frank Baum
Day 10. Write Your Own Oz Story: FREE Young Writer’s Graphic Organizers

Hop around and visit other terrific topics from the bloggers of: IHomeschool Network Autumn Hopscotch 2013

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