"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
Thanks for visiting!
LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I acknowledge, with deep respect, that I am gathered on Treaty 7 territory. I acknowledge the many First Nations, Métis and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for generations. I respect the histories, languages and cultures all the Indigenous peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our community.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oil Pastel Resist Halloween Art

This is a very cool resist effect which I thought was suitable for Halloween art. If you don't celebrate Halloween in your school and/or country, pumpkins or leaves would be a nice Autumn theme alternative.

This project is a take on 'tempera batik', but instead of a layer of thick tempera paint, this is a simpler version using oil pastels. I will warn you- this *can* be a tricky process and results vary according to different materials, brands, etc. I suggest to try it out yourself first to perfect the technique before you teach it to a class. You can also see my tempera batik lesson here.

Here's what you need:
  • oil pastels
  • basic chalk (yellow, whatever you have)
  • black acrylic paint or India ink or black liquid watercolours
  • heavy white paper (I used smooth cardstock)

Start by drawing your Halloween (or pumpkin) image with pencil.

Outline all pencil lines with a thick line of chalk. I included a border as well.
The chalk lines will end up black in the end.

Now colour in the image with a thick layer of oil pastels. You don't need to fill in all the white paper, but you do need to layer on the oil pastels really thick. You can also try this will wax crayons, but I felt the results weren't as bright. But it does work.

Once you're finished colouring, you can wipe off some of the chalk with a slightly damp sponge.
Now paint over a layer of watered down black acrylic paint or India ink over the entire image. 
*Important*  Drying time seems to be the touchy part of this process. I used acrylic paint and let it sit just 5 minutes before I washed it off. India ink might be different. Test it first yourself.

Now take it to the sink and gently sprinkle it with some warm water to soften the paint. In the class, I stand by the sink and wash each student's one at a time (I know...). It seems to work out fine as most students work at different paces, so there's never really a mad rush for the sink.
 It's just so easy to get this part wrong: turn the water on too hard and your paper rips, wipe too hard and the paper rips, wipe too little, etc.

Ok- so let it soak a bit, then gently run a small trickle of warm water over the paper- gently 'scrub' off the paint with your fingertips. You will find that it will come off quite easily from the oil pastels part. Don't rub all of it off- leave some bits sticking here and there for the resist effect.

Don't go answering the phone or something at this stage- once, I was washing these after school, and I was actually letting one soak in the sink full of water (I think I used India ink that time and it's harder to get off) and a teacher came in to talk to me, and I completely forgot about the art. The next day I came in to find a clump of dissolved paper mush in the sink. I managed to salvage a piece about 2 inches wide. I mounted it and returned it to the student with an  "A+" written on the back. The student, thankfully,wasn't upset as he was super easy-going  (and wasn't even close to being an 'A' student so he was actually happy!)  We had a good laugh about it as a class and I told them it was a lesson for me in paying attention to the task at hand.

Anyway, so once you've taken off the amount of paint that you like, let it drip dry a bit and then place it in the drying rack or a stack of newspapers to dry. The paper's wet and fragile at this stage, so be careful.
Once dry, if you find too much black paint has come off in certain areas (it happens), you can always go back in with a thin brush and touch it up with more black paint. Like I said, it can be an unpredicatble process, but it's an interesting process.

Here's some previous Grade 6 results:

This one was made with wax crayons.


Chesterbrook Academy Elementary said...

These wax resit pumpkins are beautiful.
I love the boldness of colors and textures.

Your tutorial as always very helpful.

Phyl said...

Terrific. I used to do this, but it's just so tricky. If your paper isn't great, it tears, and if they kids won't color hard enough and the whole paper turns black, it can be frustrating, but your results are great!

Miss said...

Chesterbrook- thank you as alwasy!
Phyl- it's so true- these are very unpredictable. During the process I'm usually walking around like a drill sergeant saying "Press harder! You're not colouring hard enough!"
I do this project only once a year, vow never to do it again and then inevitably always end up tackling it again. When it works, the results are so dramatic. When it doesn't work, you think, I can do it better next time. *sigh*

Mrs. Skojec said...

How great is this? I love it! The black contrast really jumps out! Thanks for the complete instructions.


Expressive Monkey said...

These look like so much fun! I've added a link to this post from my new blog: http://expressivemonkey.blogspot.com/2014/10/my-top-5-pumpkin-pins.html

I've really enjoyed looking at your blog :-)

Unknown said...

I love this activity. Thank you!
Is there a rubric attached to this project?

Miss said...

Anna- no, no rubric for this lesson- sorry! The results are just so unpredictable- this is definitely a 'process over product' lesson, in my opinion.

Sue R said...

I love this project! I was thinking about doing it with my art class in the next few weeks, but I tried it at home using black acrylic paint and watercolor paper, but the black paint really ended up very washed out looking (more of a light gray color). Any suggestions?

Miss said...

Sue R: try using black ink (India ink) or simply black watercolour or black liquid watercolours. If it's liquid enough, it shouldn't stick at all to the oil pastel, only the exposed white paper.

Unknown said...

Does certain chalk work better then others? I tried a test run, but the black isn't sticking to the chalk lines the way I want...not BOLD like yours turned out. Should I really rub off the chalk before applying the black paint/water?

Miss said...

Hi Whitney,
Yes, you need to wipe off the chalk beforehand to expose the paper. The black paint or ink will stick much better and be much bolder.
Use India ink for really rich bold black! If it's not dark enough, you can simply paint over some of the lines directly with black paint/ink using a thin brush. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

I have done many ink resist paintings over the years, including an entire touring show of twenty scenes entitled 'Slices of Temiskaming'. What I use as the 'resist' was white tempera paint. It effectively blocks everything that you wish to have remaining white! Once dry, coat the entire thing black with a soft brush (I used a hake), let dry and scrub off tempera paint in a sink. (I always use 140 w/c paper to withstand the good scrubbing. The effect is very good. Then I go in and paint with watercolour all the white areas. I found however that more recently, companies have been putting a less water-soluble tempera paint on the market and I'm sometimes left with white resist that will not wash off. That's been an issue that I now need to test my tempera paint in order to use it. Rats.

Unknown said...

WoW! Beautiful and clear directions. Thank you for sharing post.

Miss said...

Thanks Kathleen!

Unknown said...

I was just wondering what the chalk is for, and is it a necessary step?

Miss said...

The chalk is there to create the thick black line- it protects the white paper and reminds the students where not to colour. Don't use it if you can leave it clean!

Elements of the Art Room said...

We are starting this project this week, and I'm creating a blog post about it! I totally gave you credit though! I'll post the results soon! Thanks for the inspiration and clear directions!

Miss said...

Thanks for crediting back to me Lauren!

Anna said...

Ever tried this on a canvas?

Miss said...

Hi Anna, no, I've never tried this on canvas before. I think it might be too textured of a surface to work? Try it on a small one and report back!

destiny said...

I trusted this would work and it was a giant failure. All of the black paint came off, the projects were so, so disappointing.

Miss said...

destiny: did you make a sample first before doing it with a class? This is why I wrote in the post:
"I will warn you- this *can* be a tricky process and results vary according to different materials, brands, etc. I suggest to try it out yourself first to perfect the technique before you teach it to a class."

Shelley Noble said...

Love this technique and can't wait to give it a go. Fantastic! Thank you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...