Oil Pastel Art with Children: TWO Book GIVEAWAY

October 17, 2011

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Book of the Week GIVEAWAY:

Zigby Camps Out by Brian Paterson

I Like Colors by Barbara Jean Hicks

Why we love these books:

We are drawn to books by both their stories and their illustrations. Our children have long been fans of Zigby the Zebra and his friends. In each Zigby Book, the team of friends take the children on a new adventure. The colorful, bold illustrations outlined in black are equally engaging.

I Like Colors is a simple color book with fabulous illustrations. We were first attracted to this book by the uniquely colorful illustrations drawn on black paper. We knew this book was perfect for an art introduction to oil pastels.

Tomorrow we’ll share a Halloween adaptation!

Oil Pastel Art with Children


  • Books Zigby Camps Out and I Like Me
  • oil pastel colors
  • black paper
  • pencils
  • black markers
  • nature magazines such as Ranger Rick and Your Big Backyard

Step 1 – Read Aloud and Art Introduction

  • Read aloud books and note the illustrations.
  • Pay special attention to the way each illustration is outlined in black.
  • Analyze the bold color illustrations.

Step 2 – Explore Bold Animal Photos from Magazines

  • I preselected an assortment of animal photos from magazines that I thought inspired colorful, bold drawings outlined in black.
  • The children perused the photos and selected one for their starting point.
  • MacGyver started with one photo and after a bit of drawing decided it was too difficult. No problem! He just selected a different photo.

Step 3 – Draw Outline of Picture with a Pencil on Black Paper

Grandson # 3 told me he wanted to draw a picture of a sail boat. I said, “Hold-on, I think I have a book about sailboats that will help you with your illustration.” It was just what he needed to get started.

  • It’s very important for teachers and parents to be flexible. I thought the children would each draw an animal. However, Grandson #3 had a different idea. Rather than make him conform to my ideas, I let him take control of his creativity.

Step 4 – Trace pencil outline with a black marker.

Step 5 – Color illustration with oil pastel colors.

Sailboat on the Sea, Oil Pastel on Black Paper, Grandson # 3, age 9

Snail in the Rain Forest, Oil Pastel on Black Paper, MacGyver, age 8

Thank You Card, Oil Pastel on Black Paper, Grandson # 3, age 9

Upon his return home, Grandson #3 used his oil pastel inspiration to independently create a thank you  card for his Grandparents in Florida. Inspiring children’s creative thinking, that is why I have dedicated my life to education!

We’re GIVING AWAY TWO books . . . one copy each of . . .

Zigby Camps Out by Brian Paterson

I Like Colors by Barbara Jean Hicks

To enter this contest, just answer the following question in the comments section of this post.

Share the title of one book with inspiring illustrations or your favorite children’s book illustrator. (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.)

The Rules:

One entry per person, please.

No entries after 8:00 pm Central Time, Thursday, October 20, 2011

The winner must be a resident of The United States.

The winner will be selected at random and announced Friday, October 21, 2011. Check back to claim your prize. It might be you!

It was very hard to select these artistic books as there are so many more we could have included. We tried to select a variety of art mediums from our favorites.

Sharing this week at:

Hip Homeschool Moms

Mouse Grows Mouse Learns

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Natalie October 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Oh, your books immediately made me think of Todd Parr! I love his books and his illustrations. I had no idea that oil pastels work so well on black paper!

Alice October 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Hey! I love doing art on black paper, the color makes such a pop!!

Robin October 17, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I love the pictures that Don Wood does for the books that he and his wife write, but then again I like Leo Lionni’s art. Oh’ my so many that are out there it is hard to choose.
I have never used oil pastels with my children it looks like an interesting challenge.

Tracye October 17, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Hey, we are flexible around here.

maryanne @ mama smiles October 17, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Have you read any of Peter Collington’s wordless picture books? “On Christmas Eve” is a favorite from my childhood!

domestic diva October 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm

My little guy likes to look out the window when he draws (though he doesn’t always draw what’s outside).

Tiffany October 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Both Eric Carle and Steve Jenkins are two of my favorites. I love the use of collage in their illustrations.

Adrienne October 18, 2011 at 6:47 pm

We love Eric Carle books! His illustrations are so awesome!
I loved the pastel work you did here, so cool! my son would LOVE this!!!

kristina October 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm

We love The Fabric Fairytale Illustrated by: Rachel Griffin, Her pictures are beautiful.

Julie October 19, 2011 at 7:00 am

I love Eric Carle books too as inspiration for art, but also I like the book Fox in the Dark (Tiger Tales) for mixed media inspiration.

Stasia October 19, 2011 at 8:34 am

My son got a book called Agate by Joy Morgan Dey and Nikki Johnson. It has the most beautiful watercolor pictures of different animals.

Robin October 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Ted Arnold is my fav but I love several others.

Anissa October 19, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Where the Wild Things Are – ah-maze-ING art.

Alisha D October 20, 2011 at 7:25 am

Eric Carle is one of our favs! =) Thank you for this giveaway!

Tara October 20, 2011 at 8:44 am

I’ve honestly never thought about this question before (I mean as far as having a favorite), but we enjoy all the pictures in our books! I do love all the Eric Carle books though!
I love the oil paintings that y’all did!

Jessy at Our Side of the Mountain October 20, 2011 at 8:53 am

I’m with the others – Eric Carle – but I find the drawings in the Dr Suess books fun, interesting and creative!

Janelle @ Brimful Curiosities October 20, 2011 at 9:16 am

Jerry Pinkney works magic with watercolors in his books. His newest, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is simply gorgeous. I wish I new more about using oil pastels so I could teach my kids how to blend them together to create dimension.

Jessica October 20, 2011 at 9:43 am

I love Eric Carle. I love that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful, such a relief. Thanks for the giveaway!

dawn October 20, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I would have to say Eric Carle as well! Or Shel Silverstein. I love both!

Hannah Oliphant October 24, 2011 at 2:55 pm

LOVE!!!!!!!! i’ve been wanting to try pastel art and didn’t know where to start…. i like it!

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