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Oil Pastel Exploratory Project


Engage with the vibrant and versatile medium of oil pastels through five different creative projects, each designed to develop specific artistic skills and explore various techniques.


Materials Needed:

  • Oil pastels (a wide range of colors)

  • Different types of paper (e.g., heavy drawing paper, construction paper, sandpaper)

  • Fixatives (to preserve the final artwork)

  • Paper towels or cloth for blending

  • Scrapers or palette knives for sgraffito techniques

  • Masking tape (for creating borders or sharp lines)


Project Options:

Colorful Landscapes

  • Goal: Create a landscape using a layering and blending technique to capture depth and atmosphere.

  • Instructions: Choose a landscape scene. Use a combination of light and heavy strokes to build up layers of color. Blend colors directly on the paper using your fingers or a cloth to create a sense of depth and movement in the sky or water.


Dynamic Portraits

  • Goal: Produce a portrait that captures the essence and emotion of a subject using expressive colors and textures.

  • Instructions: Start with a basic sketch on your paper. Apply bold colors to define the features and mood. Use the side of the pastel for broad strokes and the tip for detailed features. Blend shades to create realistic or expressive skin tones.


Abstract Geometric Art

  • Goal: Explore geometric shapes and bold colors to create a striking abstract composition.

  • Instructions: Sketch a series of overlapping shapes and lines. Fill in each segment with different colors, using sharp lines and contrast. Experiment with pressure to vary the intensity of colors. Consider using tape to create crisp edges between colors.


Textural Experiments

  • Goal: Experiment with creating textures using oil pastels and additional tools like scrapers or palette knives.

  • Instructions: Apply a thick layer of oil pastels on the paper. Use different tools to scrape away parts of the layer to reveal the paper beneath or create patterns. This sgraffito technique allows you to play with texture and color mixing.


Still Life with a Twist

  • Goal: Depict a still life arrangement with an emphasis on color vibrancy and textural variation.

  • Instructions: Arrange a simple still life. Sketch the composition lightly and then use oil pastels to add color. Focus on shadows and highlights to give objects form and volume. Play with unconventional colors to add a modern twist to your still life.



Introduction (15 minutes):

Discuss the properties of oil pastels and review various techniques such as layering, blending, and sgraffito.

Introduce the five project options and explain the objectives and techniques involved in each.


Setup and Sketching (15 minutes):

Students choose their project and gather the required materials.

Begin sketching the outline of their chosen subject on the appropriate paper.


Artistic Phase (90-180 minutes):

Students work on their chosen projects, applying oil pastels to create the desired effects.

Instructors provide ongoing feedback via a live video feed, chat, or photo updates, offering tips and answering questions.


Refinement and Detailing (30-60 minutes):

Students refine their artwork, enhancing details and making adjustments to improve composition and color balance.


Discuss the appropriate use of fixatives to preserve the finished pieces.

Critique and Discussion (15-30 minutes):

Students share their completed artwork in a digital gallery or during a live session.

Participate in a critique, offering and receiving feedback on technique, composition, and color use.


Conclusion (5 minutes):

Reflect on the experiences and techniques explored in the session.

Discuss how these techniques can be applied to future art projects or expanded upon in personal studies.

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