Students experiment with multiple ways to blend, smudge, layer, scratch and mix colours using oil pastels on coloured construction paper.

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  • Crayola Construction Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12")
  • Crayola Oil Pastels - 16 Count
  • Crayola Washable Glue Sticks
  • Toothpicks
  • Paper Towels


Step 1
  1. Choose one colour paper for the background.
  2. Tear small shapes of each of the other colours and glue them onto your background paper.
  3. Make sure some of the background colour is visible.
Step 2


  1. Use all the colours in your oil pastel box in one way or another.
  2. Experiment with ways to apply colour and texture.

Applying Pressure

  1. Draw with the oil pastel and deliberately change the pressure to get different effects.
  2. Wiggle your wrist as you change the pressure.
Step 3


  1. Choose two or more colours.
  2. Colour a section with the darkest colour.
  3. Colour on top of the first layer with the next lightest colour.
  4. Press hard to mix the colours.
  5. Or use your fingers to blend the colours together.
Step 4


  1. Use the tip of the oil pastel.
  2. Draw lightly with a loose, rounded, scribbling motion.
  3. Scumble directly on the paper or lay down a base coat colour first and then scumble over it.

Laying Flat Colour

  1. Remove the wrapper from the oil pastel.
  2. Lay the pastel flat on the paper and move it across the surface.
  3. Change the pressure to get different effects.
Step 5


  1. Draw a series of thin lines beside each other.
  2. Draw a new set of lines on an angle over top of the first set of lines.
  3. Use the same colour for each set of lines or change colours for a different effect.


  1. Draw a series of dots beside each other.
  2. Vary the spaces between the dots to change the intensity of the colour.
  3. Draw different coloured dots among the first set to shift from one colour to the next.
Step 6

Mark Making

  1. Use the tip of the oil pastel.
  2. Explore ways to make different marks.
  3. Try dots, straight, curved, hatched and scribbled marks.

Step 7

Sgraffito (Scratching into the oil pastel)

  1. Apply thick layers of oil pastel.
  2. Use a toothpick or other pointed tool to scratch into the layers of oil pastel.
  3. Create a variety of patterns.

Step 8


  1. Use a cut out shape or leaf as a stencil.
  2. Hold the stencil firmly in place.
  3. Colour over the edge of the stencil onto the paper, or colour on the shape and smear the pastel onto the paper with your finger.
  4. Remove the stencil.
Step 9


  1. Place a piece of paper over a textured surface.
  2. Remove the wrapper from the oil pastel.
  3. Lay the oil pastel flat on the paper and move it across the textured surface.
  4. Change the pressure to get different effects.
Step 10
  1. Fill the empty spaces with more colour and texture until the entire page is coloured in.
  2. Glue your finished experiment sheet into your sketchbook.
  3. Write your comments about 4 sections of the design.
    - What do you like best about this section? Why?
    - How would you use the techniques in this section in an artwork?
    - What effect does the coloured paper have on the way the oil pastel looks?

  • Subjects:

    • Grades:

      • Grade 3,

      • Grade 4,

      • Grade 5,

      • Grade 6,

      • Grade 7,

      • Grade 8,

      • Grade 9,

      • Grade 10

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