Students draw marks on white paper using every colour of oil pastel they have and then use 8 colours of watercolour paint to paint over the whole paper. Once the paint is dry they reflect on their work, and write words to describe the energy and feeling expressed by some of the colour and line combinations. 

Required Time

40 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 10


Art Techniques
Language Arts


cool colours line oil pastel warm colours watercolour paint


Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Crayola Oil Pastels - 16 Count Crayola Watercolour Paints - 8 Count Crayola Paint Brushes Water Containers - 1 per student Paper Towels

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Step One

  1. Draw a variety of marks on your paper.
  2. Use every colour of oil pastel in the box.

Step Two

  1. Paint over the marks using some of every colour in the paint box.
EXPLORING OIL PASTEL – Resist - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Notice what happens when the paint goes over the oil pastel.
  2. Choose 4 sections of the painting that interest you.
    - List words to describe the sections.
    - How do the sections make you feel?
    - Explain what you see that makes you say that.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a variety of marks using oil pastels;
  • use watercolour paint to create resist paintings;
  • compare the effects of different colour combinations in resist paintings;
  • explain their process;
  • express opinions about the works; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the paintings.


Have students:

  • use oil pastels to draw marks on a large sheet of painting paper displayed on a bulletin board and labelled Add a Mark for a week or more;
  • add patches of watercolour paint to the Add a Mark drawing to create a large resist painting;
  • choose a small piece of the completed painting that has been torn into smaller pieces - enough for each student to have one;
  • glue their piece into their sketchbook (or onto a 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9” x 12”) paper;
  • use their imagination to extend the patch into a drawing of something wonderful;
  • share their work with the class.


  1. Place students in groups so they can share the oil pastels and paints.
  2. Spread newspaper on tables for easy clean up.
  3. Provide paper towel, water containers and paintbrushes for each student/group.
  4. Make a partially finished sample.


  1. Explain what oil pastels are,
    - Drawing tools like a crayon and chalk pastel combined.
    - The pigment is mixed with an oil and wax binder that doesn't dry in the air.
    - Eventually they do harden, but it takes a long time so pictures made with oil pastels always seem a bit oily to touch.
    - Oil pastels can be used in a lot of different ways.
  2. Ask how many students have used oil pastels before, and how they have used them. 
  3. Explain that because oil and water don't mix, when you paint over oil pastel the marks will still be visible – this technique is called oil pastel resist.
  4. Explain that today's class is for experimenting with the oil pastels and watercolour paints. 
  5. It's a time to play with ideas and see what happens.
  6. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Draw lots of different marks using all the colours in the oil pastel box.
  2. Use all the colours in the watercolour box to paint over the whole paper.
  3. Compare the effects of different colour combinations in resist paintings.
  4. Explain your process.
  5. Express opinions about your own and others' artworks. 
  6. Support your ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students. For example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - created lots of different marks
    - used all the colours in the oil pastel box

    - used all the colours in the watercolour box 
    - filled the whole page with colours
    - explained what I did
    - expressed opinions about my own and others' artworks
    - supported my ideas with evidence found in the artworks 
    - kept the paper in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Have students work with a partner or in small groups. Ask them to:
    Discuss the effects of the paint on the oil pastel.
    - Choose a section in each others' paintings that interests them.
     Talk about how the different colour combinations make them feel. 
    - Explain what they see that makes them say that.
    - Think of different words to describe the section.
    Consider how doing this activity might help them if they were creating a picture.
  2. Ask them to tell how they felt about doing this activity.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their paintings – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the painting, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads – OilPastelResist_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students glue their finished painting into their sketchbook/journal.
  6. Have them write comments about 4 sections of their design.
    - What do you like best about each section? Why?
    - How would you use the techniques in each section in an artwork?
    - What effect does the paint have on the way the oil pastel looks?
    - What stands out in your mind about using oil pastels?