Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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Tips for Creating your Entry

Following is a list of helpful hints for teachers and students:

  • Follow the size requirement of 9" high by 12" wide.
  • Get outdoors to observe, photograph, and sketch live waterfowl.
  • Create original art, not copies of someone else's work.
  • Use the medium you are most comfortable with.
  • A good drawing makes a good painting; refine your image at the drawing stage.
  • Create a solid, balanced design such as one that includes a triangle of elements.
  • Match the species and its seasonal plumage to the correct habitat.
  • Make your species the center of attention.
  • Focus your detail on waterfowl anatomy.
  • Don't overdo background scenes; keep it simple.
  • Use bright, bold, and warm colors.
  • Use contrasting colors and crisp edges to make your image "pop" from the page.
  • Consider what your artwork would look like as a small stamp.
  • Get critiques of your work from artists, teachers, biologists, and others.
  • Don't forget to postmark your entry by the annual Tennessee entry deadline of March 15.


Last updated: April 11, 2014