Me, Myself and I: Oil Pastel and Watercolor

“For this activity, many steps where taken to produce the final artwork. Initial sketches of the selfie photos were drawn. I outlined the sketch onto the big paper using yellow oil pastels and then layered on other colours. Then watercolour was painted on top of the oil pastel for the finishing touches.” -HANA-

“The self-portrait activity consisted of chronological procedures, beginning with sketching and outlining using a pencil. This created a rough guideline before outlining the self-portrait.” -JESSY-

“The process started with several sketches to practice and envision the image I would be using for my self-portrait. The process was a crucial aspect in this piece, just as in all types of art-making experiences. From sketching with pencil, to using oil pastels and using watercolour paint, the process was memorable and it was a very meaningful art-making experience.” -JOANNA-

Jessy’s Experience


IMG_0087I was so fascinated to observe the end results of the combination of oil pastel and watercolour. I learned the technique of using oil pastel underneath the watercolours, where the water colour would resist the oil pastel. Using the two materials together created a very unique piece of artwork.

This is an activity is something I recommend be implemented with children. Children would be able to use the process approach and also also learn about resist art.

An element that can be seen through the artwork is space. Space describes the surface area of the canvas or paper that is either covered or left blank, which creates the dimension of positive or negative space. The white space that has been left unpainted is the negative space, while coloured figure is the positive space. 


Hana’s Experience

File_004 (1) File_006TIP: Educators can combine many other mediums to create beautiful mixed media pieces, not only oil pastel and watercolor.

During the process, I added the blue and grey self-portrait reflecting my ‘hidden self’ because I realized the portrait did not reflect my entire self. Like my experience, as children undertake in activities that allow them to plan and think about how to create their art, they will be able experiment and explore resulting in a more coherent and meaningful product.  -HANA-

File_000 (8)

Element of art that is seen in this piece is BALANCE. Balance can be defined as the the proportion of shapes and forms relative to each other created by the use of space. Balance can be symmetrical and even or asymmetrical and unequal. There is asymmetrical balance in my self portrait as there is more space on the left than the right. There is an additional face on the right side, but not on the left creating unequal balance in the composition.


Joanna’s Experience

IMG_4451Learning to visualize, mentally plan ahead mentally, and also being consciously aware of the process is what I have gained from this experience. These skills have allowed me to create a composition that consists of line, color, shape, balance and harmony in the portrait. I also learned not worry about making mistakes in the artwork, or get caught up in making the art ‘perfect’. I can take the knowledge I have gained from this experience to teach children using process art and become an art educator who encourages children to explore and express without creative boundaries. 


A Teacher’s Toolbox:

Famous portrait artists: show children self-portaits painted and drawn by famous artists. This website can show children that portraits do not necessarily have to be realistic!

Twists on self-portraits: other ideas to create self-portraits

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