Oil Pastel and Baby Oil ‘Paintings’

Want to amaze and engage your students? Try oil pastel ‘painting’. The colors are vibrant, set up and clean are a breeze and students love the process.

Oil pastels
Baby oil
Small cups for oil
Watercolor paper

We did a directed draw of a great blue heron. We grouped our oil pastels so that they would blend nicely. This was a good opportunity to review warm and cool colors and analogous colors.

Heron: cool colors (purple, blue, green)
Water: purples and blues (analogous colors)
Sunset sky: warm colors ( red, orange, yellow) and pink
Hills: green and yellows (analogous colors)



Students make short strokes of oil pastel. Use two or three colors side by side. Then dip a q-tip in baby oil and blend the colors. A little oil goes a long way!


Dry on a drying rack.

Use watercolor paper. Construction paper is too thin and oil will soak the paper.
Blot excess oil with tissue.

Have fun!

I learned this process from art teacher Nicole Nelson at The San Diego Museum of Art.



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4 thoughts on “Oil Pastel and Baby Oil ‘Paintings’

    • I am excited to meet a school psychologist/mom with time for blogging. Very cool!

  1. Visiting from SITS. Love your blog. My girls are really into art so I am going to search your site for some fun projects for this summer. On a side note….I am also from San Diego. 🙂

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