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Drawing With Children: Les 5 Oil Pastels

In this installment in my Drawing With Children-nature journal style series, I am going to share some information and videos about using oil pastels. Although they look a lot like crayons, they are much more versatile even for younger art students.

The blending ability of oil pastels makes them an easy alternative to oil paints with far less mess.

You can use oil pastels in your nature journal but you need to be aware that if you don’t apply a fixative, you will have a smudgy mess on facing pages. I don’t mind the smudges but just make sure to always put them in the journal where they are not facing another entry.

From Drawing with Children, by Mona Brookes, page 166-167:
“Form the undersketch with a very light color and then build on top of it. Use the tips of your fingers to blend the shadings.”

My boys have really enjoyed using oil pastels over the years and I highly recommend you give them a try with your children.

So, are you ready for the videos? The first one gives you some specific techniques to get started and the second is a little more advanced, showing how to use the oil pastels for subjects in your nature journal. We are still working on training my youngest son to be my “camera man” so bear with us as we learn the best ways to video the lessons. 🙂

Here are the rest of the Lessons:

Lesson 1 – Getting Started

Lesson 2 – Drawing from Graphics

Lesson 3 – Still Life

Lesson 4 – Volume Drawing

Lesson 5 – Conte Crayons

Lesson 5 – Chalk Pastels

Lesson 5 – Drawing Pencils

Lesson 5 – Colored Pencils

Lesson  5 – Oil Pastels

Lesson 5 – Watercolors

Click to each lesson for adaptations, suggestions, and videos.

free-download-drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

You can download all the Drawing With Children – Nature Journal Style Lesson Plans here: Drawing with Children Lesson 1 – Getting Started.

Cover Grade 4

Please note that Drawing With Children is part of the Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 Curriculum. You can click over to read more about this art and music appreciation plan here:

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Explanation

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Sample

The plans in Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 relate the lessons to a study of great art and artists. Please see page 9 in the sample linked above to get an idea how I do this in the plans.

Supplies Needed for the Lesson Above

Please note these are Amazon affiliate links to products I own and recommend.

Drawing With Children: Les 5 Colored Pencils

drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

Using Colored Pencils in Your Nature Journal
Drawing With Children – Lesson 5 Colored Pencils

Have I told you how much I love colored pencils? Until I started buying good quality colored pencils, I didn’t realize their potential for making a really good drawing. Colored pencils come in different hardnesses just like drawing pencils. Harder pencils are more difficult to get a lot of color from and they don’t blend very well. I prefer to use a softer lead. I know most of us start off with colored pencils from Crayola or some other popular reasonably priced company and that is okay. Just remember when you are moving up in the school years that your children might be ready to handle and get better results from a better quality colored pencil.

My favorite brand of colored pencils for older students is Prismacolor. I know these pencils are a little pricey but you can find smaller sets at art supply stores or places like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. I always use a 50% off coupon when I am purchasing them at Michael’s. I also found them locally at the college bookstore and they had them at a *serious* discount. You just need to plan ahead and keep alert to sales.

So how do I use colored pencils in my nature journal? I try to carry a set with me when I have room in my backpack. I remove them from the cardboard container and put them in a more sturdy plastic tub.

I also have a tin filled with watercolor colored pencils from Prismacolor. If you are going to splurge on an art supply for yourself, these are worth the price. You use them just like regular colored pencils but then you can use a brush and water to make the drawing into a painting.

To begin a sketch in your nature journal using colored pencils, I suggest first sketching the scene or item out with your favorite drawing pencil and then you can go back and use your colored pencils.

Some examples:
P3200024
I sketched this out lightly with a drawing pencil first and then went back to add some color.
P3200026
This sketch was done by my son after watching the goldfinches at our birdfeeder. He sketched the bird using a field guide and pencil. Then he went back and added the color to the sketch for his nature notebook.

Now, how about a video tutorial? I made two videos, one that shows the differences between the colored pencils and one that shows how to use the watercolor colored pencils. Enjoy.

There really is no mystery to using colored pencils. They don’t make a mess. They are easily transported. They give great results.

Here are the rest of the Lessons:

Lesson 1 – Getting Started

Lesson 2 – Drawing from Graphics

Lesson 3 – Still Life

Lesson 4 – Volume Drawing

Lesson 5 – Conte Crayons

Lesson 5 – Chalk Pastels

Lesson 5 – Drawing Pencils

Lesson 5 – Colored Pencils

Lesson 5 – Oil Pastels

Lesson 5 – Watercolors

Click to each lesson for adaptations, suggestions, and videos.

free-download-drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

You can download all the Drawing With Children – Nature Journal Style Lesson Plans here: Drawing with Children Lesson 1 – Getting Started.

 

Cover Grade 4

Please note that Drawing With Children is part of the Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 Curriculum. You can click over to read more about this art and music appreciation plan here:

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Explanation

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Sample

The plans in Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 relate the lessons to a study of great art and artists. Please see page 9 in the sample linked above to get an idea how I do this in the plans.

Supplies Needed for All the Lessons Listed Above

Please note these are Amazon affiliate links to products I own and recommend.


Drawing With Children-Les 5 Chalk Pastels

drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

Drawing With Children by Mona Brookes talks about chalk pastels in chapter five. She suggests that you try these after conte crayons so here are my ideas for adapting this lesson for your nature journal.


The good news is that although these are just as messy as the conte crayons, your children will probably enjoy them more. They are colorful and you get lots of bright bold colors on your page. They are not as smooth on the page as an oil pastel but they give you more color than a watercolor pencil.
chalk pastels 1
We have always enjoyed the way you can overlap the colors and you can see them blend on your page but they will break if you apply too much pressure.

You will need good paper, a kneaded eraser, and a fixative in order to use these in your nature drawings. I am still not convinced I would use them directly into my nature journal or carry chalk pastels in my backpack but if you are around the house and can use them on separate sheets of paper and then insert them into your journal, they are a nice change from colored pencils.
chalk pastel leaf

You can see how the leaf looks great but there is a mess on the page and the pastels broke when I was using them. You can still use them even when they get quite small though so just be prepared that your nice new box of pastels will soon be broken and messy.

 

How about a couple of videos that I made to get some additional ideas?

Chalk Pastel Video #1

Chalk Pastel Video #2

pastels pencils
I also tried the Pastels Pencils (Conte brand) and they were a little easier to use than the crayon sticks. They still have the same texture so they were a little scratchy on the paper and still made a little mess. If I had to choose, I would use the pencils but not in my nature notebook. The pencils were much easier to control and you could sharpen them to a point to get a nice sharp line.

chalk pastels fixative

 

 

Here are the rest of the Lessons:

Lesson 1 – Getting Started

Lesson 2 – Drawing from Graphics

Lesson 3 – Still Life

Lesson 4 – Volume Drawing

Lesson 5 – Conte Crayons

Lesson 5 – Chalk Pastels

Lesson 5 – Drawing Pencils

Lesson 5 – Colored Pencils

Lesson 5 – Oil Pastels

Lesson 5 – Watercolors

Click to each lesson for adaptations, suggestions, and videos.

free-download-drawing-with-children-nature-journal-style-harmonyfinearts

You can download all the Drawing With Children – Nature Journal Style Lesson Plans here: Drawing with Children Lesson 1 – Getting Started.

 

Cover Grade 4

Please note that Drawing With Children is part of the Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 Curriculum. You can click over to read more about this art and music appreciation plan here:

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Explanation

Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 – Sample

The plans in Harmony Fine Arts Grade 4 relate the lessons to a study of great art and artists. Please see page 9 in the sample linked above to get an idea how I do this in the plans.

 

Supplies Needed for this Lesson

Please note these are Amazon affiliate links to products I own and recommend.

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