Spring Farm with Oil Pastels

How fantastic it is to dream about spring when we are surrounded by the whiteness of snow. I couldn’t help myself and had to include something related to spring as the last class of this Winter Art Class Season. A Spring Farm felt like a good idea and oil pastels were not used much for the past few weeks so let’s wake up Spring with a good splash of colour!

I have prepared this spring farm with oil pastels but I let the children decide in case if they would like to use acrylic colours instead but when they saw how easy and beautiful the picture was with the use of oil pastels they all wanted to do it the exact same way.

I’m sure you think that oil pastels are quite popular and widely used at schools but do you think that you know how to use them in an efficient way and how to mix them and shade them between each other?

Very colourful picture of red barn with some trees behind and small hills in the background with colourful spring vegetation and small forest.
Spring Farm with oil pastels by Nova 6 years old

Yes, there is a bit more to oil pastels than you expected. We have used very basic techniques. Pressure blending (most loved by the children) – we have applied colours and then blend them with use of kitchen towels and fingers. It creates a smooth, even look and covers any missed areas in between strokes of the pastel. We also used heavy pressure blend and light pressure blend which is still blending but without any smoothing with your finger, it uses oil pastels only and the difference is only with the amount of oil pastel colours applied in the same area. Another interesting technique is “stippling” – for this technique we are only using dots and to make them lighter we are making them farther and farther from each other and then cover the remaining area with different colours. “Scrambling” is applying two or more colours in a circular and wavy way with more intensity on one side than the other, until the colours eventually combine. You can also add some white, gray or black on top to achieve a couple more different shades. “Scraffito” – first you apply a lighter colour, thick and even, then a darker colour on top of it and with use of a palette knife or other sharper tool,(maybe a wooden stick) you can scratch off desired shapes. We also did a blend of colours from white to the colour they chose, from gray to the colour, from colour to black and from white to colour to black.

If you are able to use all of those techniques in one artwork, you will definitely achieve very interesting and creative results. Our Spring Farm with oil pastels has turned fantastic. If you would like to learn more about oil pastels techniques please sign up for one of our courses.