Starting with a page of brilliant oil pastel color allows for some color mixing fun. Reverse oil pastel drawing with a focus on line exploration makes a pencil drawing go from simple to “Pop!”
Old fashioned art projects….
There are a few art activities that just make me feel like I’m about ten years old again. Most of these have nothing to do with the rule laden art classes of school or the fancy kid’s classes that were pretty much nonexistent thirty years ago. I’m thinking of making snowflakes from coffee filters, leaf rubbings, and folding up silly origami shapes.
These were things I could do all by myself with no extra “stuff” or intense instruction.
This oil pastel drawing falls under that category. A few simple changes make this classic art activity even more fun.
What you need for this oil pastels drawing…
The beauty of a project like this is you don’t need much. I remember doing this with crayons. Coloring with oil pastels produces a much more vibrant design when you’re finished. They are softer and easier to color a larger space than crayons are. These Sakura student quality oil pastels cost about the same price as a cup of coffee and are super vibrant.
Use what you have. If you only have crayons this project is still worth a go!
Other than the oil pastels all you need is white paper. Lightweight drawing paper is all you need here. Even copy weight paper will do.
Coloring with oil pastels…..
I recommend starting small here so your little artist doesn’t suffer from hand fatigue and give up.
You want to lay down enough color to completely cover your paper, whatever size you choose. Cutting an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper in half (making it 5.5″ x 8.5″) would be a good starting point.
Encourage kids to blend color by coloring one over another. Working with a heavy layer of oil pastel will make colors blend as if they were paint! If your kiddos haven’t used oil pastels before this project is a great warm up or exploration with this medium. Here’s another super fun way to work with oil pastels and learn about blending colors.
Exploring types of lines….
Lay a plain white paper on top of the colored paper. It should be the same size as the colored paper. You want that paper to stay in the same place so if your artists are on the younger side a piece of tape or two to hold the two pieces together will relieve some frustration.
This simple process is the perfect place to explore making different types of lines. Head over to this free printable book about the element of line for a kid friendly intro to the idea of different line qualities.
Using a pencil draw some lines vertically up and down the paper; dividing it into stripes of various widths. Kids will fill each section with repeating lines or patterns using a specific type of line. Emphasize making lines of different thicknesses as well as directions and qualities. Thick lines will mean a more colorful end product!
One thing I love about this process is that erasing is just not possible. By applying pressure with the pencil color will transfer the from the oil pastel coloring underneath to the plain white paper. When your pencil drawing is finished, flip it over, and voila- a rainbow drawing!
Once you draw that color is already transferred. Whether you use an eraser or not, the line has been drawn.
I hate using erasers with kids so this works for my style of teaching. Make a mistake? Try to make it into something. Art doesn’t have to be perfect.
Oil pastel drawing…
The more lines that are drawn with the pencil the more color will be transferred on the back. (Which is actually the front.) Encourage kids to use variety of thick, thin, wavy , round, etc lines. Each space should house a new variety of line with its own unique quality.
Don’t be afraid to scribble over lines two or three times to make them thicker. More lines equals more color!
The best part…
Throw a clean piece of paper over that oil pastel covered paper and do it again. All that hard work coloring can be used to make another ( and another) reverse oil pastel drawing!!