Introduction to Oil Pastels
Art Museums are full of wonderful inspiration on so many fronts. Just one of these is the richness and variety of art materials available. With infants and toddlers, most, if not all, art experiences should be opportunities to explore materials. Learning the ways different materials work and interact is building a toolbox. As they grow, they will begin to use their growing knowledge about these materials to build and create to learn and explore ideas in greater detail. For now, I work to introduce them to the options and give them varied opportunities to explore with them. Most recently, we worked with Oil Pastels.
Oil Pastels are fabulous. Soft, thick, brilliant in color. We began our explanation in the most simple of ways - with some oil pastels and some watercolor paper. I used the watercolor paper because of its thickness. Thick construction paper would also work. They were placed on the table with a spot for each toddler to work. They were given time to explore on their own. The first time they used them, I sat near them and observed. I listened to their thoughts and observations, but let the exploration come solely from them.
Over the next couple of weeks, we continued to explore oil pastels. Each invitation was set up in a similar matter. Their white activity mat, some form of canvas or paper, and the oil pastels. The table was kept empty. Their work was observed and then, when they chose, hung on our art wall. Over the future periods, we talked together more. I demonstrated some basic techniques - smearing the marks with my finger, drawing lines on top of each other and blending, unwrapping and using the length, etc. I also imitated the different ways they used the oil pastels. Tapping my paper, drawing long lines, etc.
Here are some other invitations to create that we enjoyed:
* Oil Pastels + Canvas
* Oil Pastels + Colored Construction Paper
* Unwrapped Oil Pastels + White Paper
* Oil Pastels + Watercolors
Repeat a similar process with other materials - glue, watercolors, pencils, etc. Try different materials together and see where it leads you. Continue building their creative toolbox for the future.
comments powered by Disqus