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Naturally Educational » All Ages, Art, Featured, Science, Visual-Spacial » Just Make Art: Oil Pastel Resist

Just Make Art: Oil Pastel Resist

Despite how it might appear from my blog, most of our time at home is spent playing. And most of our art-making is very open-ended. I might put out certain materials, demonstrate a technique, but from there it is all up to the kids and their own inspiration and creativity.

One of my kids favorite things to do is to paint with watercolors. And they love making crayon resists. When the nice people at sent me a pack with oil pastels, I thought this would be a fun variation to make a resist using what the kids call “creamy crayons”.

First, I showed the kids some techniques they could use with the oil pastels, including layering the colors and then scratching away the top layer, blending, and using as a resist.

Of course, I couldn’t help but sneak in a little learning with a quick demonstration of how oil repels water.

Then, the kids got to work drawing…

…layering and scratching away…

…and painting with watercolors.

Even the baby wanted to get in on the fun!

Their subject matter, I think, was inspired by painting en plein air.

I love how my daughter used the scratch technique for the veins on the leaves and to articulate the butterfly body!

And I love how my son’s composition is so different even though he took the same subject as his sister. I think there is a lot of movement and energy in his work–maybe a little bit of Keith Haring by way of Kandinsky?

Thank you to the good folks at for sending materials that inspired my kids and also encouraged me to share some of our more free-form and open-ended work with you. What art materials do your kids enjoy? I would love to see some of your projects!

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Candace Lindemann, Yale, BA, Harvard Graduate School of Education, EdM, is an educational consultant and published writer. She enjoys new learning experiences with her children, ages 6 and 4 and 1.5.

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