This is a new art lesson I recently did with my Grade 10/11 class. It's an introduction to creating abstract art through the use of a viewfinder to 'zoom' in and crop an element of a doodle.
I found the lesson plan, by Art teacher Robyn Briggs, here.
So first I had students create a detailed and elaborate 'doodle' page in their sketchbook in Sharpie.
Then students cut out a little viewfinder from an index card and looked around their doodle for an interesting composition that they would later enlarge to create their abstract design.
When they found the perfect spot, they taped down the viewfinder.
Here's a close-up:
They drew these designs onto a larger sheet of good quality, smooth, black paper. It's essential to have smooth paper as the oil pastels just work better on paper with no 'tooth' or texture.
Students were told to mix colors and create blended gradations (going from light to dark). As well, they were encouraged to lay down the oil pastel in a thick layer in order to be able to more easily blend colors together. I found the kids either liked or hated the oil pastels- some found them really difficult to control, others just seemed to get a handle on the medium much more easily.
Here are some finished results: Ta da!