Sunday, September 21, 2014

Oil pastel figure close-ups

This was one of my favorite lessons from last year. (I feel like I always say that....?) 

But seriously, this was great. It would work for a variety of grades- elementary or high school as well. I did it with 7th grade and will again this year. 

Using the move-able figures- students had to create a zoomed/close-up composition using the figure, taking the negative space into consideration. I actually had them do a "photo shoot" with their ipads: take photos of the figures in different positions and then cropped the photos. For some students it was easier for them to work from the photo. 

The students sketched out shaded pencil drawings first. Then they drew them BIG on 12 x 18 slate grey Tru-ray construction paper (one of my favorites, along with their turquoise). 
They chose a color palette to work in and had to have 3 different shades of oil pastels so that they could convey the shadows. 

 They all came out awesome! And it gave students a chance to strengthen a variety of skills. Some needed to master blending, some needed to strengthen their ability to communicate dimension, etc. 


  1. These are really lovely. Students really did well with the different values and contrast!!

  2. I tried this with my middle school and it didn't come out as well because I had them do several drawings on 5x7 paper. Next time I will have them do it larger and then I'm sure it will look like it should.

  3. love this and am wanting to try this out with my students! How many class periods did this take them (sketch including)?