Oil Pastel + Watercolor Resist | Cleveland East Side Moms

Oil Pastel + Watercolor Resist

by | Dec 19, 2018 | Crafts


Children love to experiment and discover. They are naturally curious about how things work. Oil pastels and watercolor make a simple and exciting way to explore the theory of resistance!


Process Art is the philosophy that the process is more important than the product. It is rooted in the idea that providing materials and opportunities to explore, opposed to following specific directions, will foster a passion for art and creating.


In Process Art, the setting up is just as important as the doing. Organizing materials in an inviting way helps attract children and ignite ideas. Wire baskets, metal bowls, and lazy susans are perfect for setting up writing materials. Mason jars, silicone muffin liners, muffin tins, and ramekins are perfect for setting up paint. Covering the table with Kraft paper or newspaper helps big time with mess and clean up!


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Give your child a piece of watercolor paper. This project works best with a quality watercolor paper like Canson. Set out oil pastels. My favorite ones to use are by Pentel Arts. They show up really bright but easily wash off off of little hands! Give children the time and freedom to draw whatever they want.


While they are working ask, “How does the oil pastel feel as it glides across the paper?” Using language like, “Tell me about what you are drawing.” instead of, “What is it?!” helps children feel confident to create independently and use their imagination.


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Next, set out jars of watercolor. My favorite jars to use are Wide Mouth Half Pint Mason Jars because they don’t tip easily and there is a nice size opening for young children to easily move brushes in and out. They have a lid that seals tightly so you can store and reuse, which means less paint waste! I like to use Colorations watercolors because they show up so bold, but use a smock or messy art clothes because these can be challenging to get out of clothing.


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Ask children to make predictions about what might happen when they start painting. Let children paint freely. Encourage them to explore different colors and cover the whole paper.


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“What happens when you paint on top of the oil pastels?” During Process Art, the role of the grown up is to guide and support, not direct. Give children the space to experiment, discover, and explore. Oil Pastel + Watercolor make beautiful gifts, cards, and artwork for family and friends!


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About the Author

Meet Courtney – process art enthusiast, children’s book lover, play-based preschool teacher.

With a background in early childhood education, childrens yoga certification, STEAM-based workshop design + facilitation, eBook publishing and years of preschool experience, Courtney has discovered working with children is what comes most naturally to her. 

Courtney is passionate about creating opportunities for children to become their favorite versions of themselves. She feels strongly about fostering a love for learning through exploration and play. Courtney teaches preschool full time. In her free time she likes to discover new restaurants with her wife, Liz, and play in the backyard with their pup, Berkeley. She lives and works on Cleveland’s East side.

Follow her on Instagram (@little_explorations) or check out her eBook, Little Explorations, for some other great craft ideas!

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