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:: yet another oil pastel project ::

February 20, 2011

I posted a few weeks ago about undertaking Kandinsky Oil Pastel Circles as a project with the kids.  As today is officially the first day of February break we celebrated with a vivid and vibrant art (“Hey! That rhymes with fart!”) project.

Mostly I followed the tutorial linked above, but rather than using paper we used 8×10 canvasses that I had purchased earlier at Wal Mart.  I divided each canvas into six rectangles and then used Isaac’s canvas to show one example circle (so that he had something to reference when he was colouring).

Ready to begin our circles

I wasn’t sure how much assistance Isaac was going to need with this project.  I knew he could identify a circle, but to maintain interest in drawing a whole bunch of circles could be a challenge for a 3 year old.  He flew into the project doing the best circles he muster.  The last few rectangles show his waning interest lol.  I followed along behind him every now and then, oil pastel in hand,  to shade in the corners of the rectangle or to fill a huge white gap.

Isaac working on the second set of circles. The orange and purple one is the exemplar I created for him.


Ava took to the endeavour enthusiastically.  Usually there is some sort of verbal resistance uttered from her, but not with this!  In fact, between the two of them there was hardly a peep as they individually debated between colours and filled in circles.  Ava’s circles have more layers than Isaac’s and she was able to grasp the purpose of the project on her own.  She really didn’t need any help or guidance at all.  In fact, she moved away to the opposite end of the table so that I couldn’t see what she was making in order for it to be a surprise at the end.


Ava, quite involved in her design, didn’t notice me peeking when I was supposed to be “not looking”.

There was a little bit of mess as pastels do tend to smear, so we kept some diaper wipes on hand.  It cleaned up easily from skin, not so much from the clothes.  This project proved to be a great way to spend a half an hour on a  -37 degree Celsius day.

My charming little artists

Joy is but the sign that creative emotion is fulfilling its purpose.

~Charles du Bois

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Nicole permalink
    February 20, 2011 12:59 pm

    Oh my gosh, those came out so dang cute! I love the colors on both and the rectangles on Issac’s 🙂 And Ava looks so proud! Beautiful art guys! Owen is 3 too, but I don’t think he will quite grasp this art project.. I’ll have to file it away for later, I’d love to put one of those on our wall!

  2. February 20, 2011 2:55 pm

    Those are awesome Jess! I’ve been doing Kandinsky circles with the grade 6/7 class but we decided to do ours like a collage, so they are using magazines to fill in their circles, then we’ll hang them all up as one big Kandinsky.

    • February 20, 2011 3:20 pm

      That sounds really neat, Nadine! I’ll have to stop by the school and see it when it’s on display.

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