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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 Drawing Pencils

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

 

Drawing with Children chapter 5 gives a list of art supplies to try and in this entry I am going to help you through choosing pencils to use in your nature journal.

Pencils are easy to find and easy to use. They are small enough to fit in any backpack along with a nature journal. I always carry drawing pencils with me when we take our hikes and they are the “staple” of my nature drawing kit.

I have two ways of carrying them. If I am carrying my big backpack and have room to fit it in, I carry my Art Bin filled with various kinds of drawing pencils, a good metal sharpener, a few erasers, and a drawing tortillion.

If I am traveling light, I put a few pencils, my black ink pen, and a few old crayons in a Ziploc bag and carry them that way. Don’t laugh, it works.

Here is a photo of what I am describing. I actually pulled these out of my backpack so they are just as if I were ready to take off for a hike. I must admit that I rarely just take along pencils. I almost always end up throwing in some colored pencils or watercolor pencils. I couldn’t find a single example from my nature journal where I only used a drawing pencil. I use them to sketch things out roughly on the page and then put on a little color.
art bin and ziploc
So what kind of pencils do you want to try? Most homeschoolers have a ready supply of the good old stand-by #2 pencils. This will do fine to start but for a variety of line you might want to try a different pencil that is harder or softer than the #2.

Mona Brookes suggests:
one #H (hard lead gives lighter line)
one #2B (the “B” is the softness)
one #5B or #6B
She also recommends starting a sketch with the #H, adding in some shading and detail with the #2B, and then going back and putting on the darkest shadings with the #5B or #6B.

Personally, I love to use the #4B and the #6B. When I am really into a sketch, I love to really make the darks dark and it is much easier to do with the #6B. If you really want to splurge, try a woodless pencil…it feels so good in your hand.

Pencils are relatively inexpensive so you can pick up a variety and add them into your art box. If you are on a budget and want to work on your drawing skills, then try just using pencil and eraser and you can get beautiful results. I have added a few of my own drawings to this blog post to give you some encouragement in using a variety of pencils in your nature journal as well as in your daily sketching.

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

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 Conte Crayons

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

Drawing With Children Lesson 5 begins our exploration of a variety of art mediums.

See the rest of the lessons linked at the bottom of this post.

 

Now we are getting down to the real meat of this book. The basics have been covered and now we are given some instruction and direction on what to try after we have tired of markers.
conte crayons
The first medium mentioned is Conte Crayon.…this I admit is not my favorite way to draw. It is messy and I don’t have much control. I have done some work with the conte crayons and to me, they are as messy as charcoal. You smudge and smear and then when you are finished, the end product, even if you have used a fixative, needs to be stored carefully or they make a big mess. Now I know there must be artists that enjoy these crayons but I gave them a try and I have moved on.
kneaded eraser
If you use the kneaded eraser that they suggest, you will want to keep it for using exclusively with the conte crayons otherwise you will make a smudgy mess on your next pencil project…..yes, I am speaking from experience.

I would not use these crayons with little ones. They break easily and they will probably not like the results. I would save these for at least middle school age children, if not high school….or better yet, college. 🙂
cat gesture drawing
Gesture drawing of my cat done with conte crayon

I would not recommend conte crayons for your nature journal. About the only thing I like to use conte crayons or charcoal for is to make “gesture drawings“. Drawing with Children talks a little bit about gesture drawing on pages 180-181. Basically it means a quick kind of drawing that you look quickly back and forth between the model and your drawing.

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

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 the Lesson Above

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

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