PUMPKIN FACES – Blended Colour, Expression, Contrast

Students use oil pastel resist technique to create a drawing of a pumpkin face using blended colours.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 3 to Grade 7


Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts


colour contrast facial expression movement shape


Crayola Oil Pastels Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Crayola Tempera Paint - Black Crayola Paint Brushes Crayola Chalk - White Crayola Sketchbooks

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PUMPKIN FACES – Blended Colour, Expression, Contrast - Step One

Step One

  1. Make 4 thumbnail sketches of different ideas in your sketchbook.
  2. Remember to give each face a different expression.
  3. Practice blending oil pastel colours to get the illusion of depth.
  4. Choose the design you like the best.
PUMPKIN FACES – Blended Colour, Expression, Contrast - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Draw your pumpkin with white chalk.
  2. Make sure it fills the page.
  3. Blend different colours of oil pastel to fill the spaces inside the chalk lines.
PUMPKIN FACES – Blended Colour, Expression, Contrast - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Paint over the whole drawing with black tempera paint.
  2. Let the paint dry for 4 or 5 minutes.
PUMPKIN FACES – Blended Colour, Expression, Contrast - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Place the painted picture in the sink.
  2. Run a thin trickle of water over the painted picture to wash the paint away.
PUMPKIN FACES – Blended Colour, Expression, Contrast - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Place the wet drawing on a flat surface to dry.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create an oil pastel resist drawing of a pumpkin with expressive features.
  • create a variety of blended colours;
  • use contrast to move the viewer's eye through the picture plane;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity;
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the works.


Have students:

  • create 4 faces that show different expressions using the Making Faces lesson plan available on this website; 
  • write a short bio for a personal web page to introduce each face they created; 
  • work with a partner to create a display of the artworks along with the bios;
  • share their display with others.


  1. Place students in groups so they can share oil pastels.
  2. Download and display the Colour and Contrast posters available on this website.
    - review or teach the element of colour – analogous, complementary, monochromatic colours
    - review or teach the principle of contrast – strong differences
  3. Gather and make available books about facial expressions, for example, Cartoon Faces: How to Draw Heads, Features & Expressions, by Christopher Hart; Realistic Pumpkin Carving: 24 Spooky, Scary, and Spine-Chilling Designs, by Lundy Cupp; and Easy Pumpkin Carving: Spooktacular Patterns, Tips & Ideas, by Colleen Dorsey. 
  4. Download images of carved pumpkins from the Internet, for example,
    Happy Pumpkin
    Pumpkin 2
    Celebration Pumpkins



  1. Invite students to share their experiences of carving pumpkins.
  2. View some of the images of carved pumpkins and discuss how the expressions are created, for example, by the angles and shapes of eyebrows, mouths, and eyes.
  3. Demonstrate how to draw different expressions on a chart paper. (Downloads - FacialExpressions.pdf)
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create an oil pastel resist drawing of a pumpkin with expressive features.
  2. Create a variety of blended colours.
  3. Use contrast to move the viewer's eye through the picture plane.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - used my own ideas
    - designed a pumpkin with expressive features
    - created a variety of blended colours
    - used oil pastel resist technique effectively
    - used contrast to move the viewer's eye through the picture plane

    - 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. Once all the designs are complete display them for a group discussion. 
    Look closely at the drawings.
    - Choose one that interests you for some reason.
    - Share thoughts about the work.
  2. Guide students by asking:
    - What kind of feeling does the pumpkin express? - What do you see that makes you say that?
    - How does the use of contrast move your eye around the picture? 
    - What do you notice about the way the work has been made?
    - What do you like the best about this work?


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their artworks – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the work, 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 - PumpkinFaces_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - PumpkinFace_self-assessment.pdf)