Friday, June 11, 2010

Fun with Oil Pastels

I have never liked oil pastels. But I realized that was because I knew too little of it.

I brought the kids out for a trial art class which teaches art using oil pastels. My kids probably had more exposure to oil pastels in school than I ever did my life. They looked at ease with them.

The top two were taught by the teacher using blending techniques. The bottom two were before.
Left: SW, Right: CH

"It is easier for young children to blend colours using oil pastels than using coloured pencils or poster colours", the teacher told me.

With that, I came home and logged into the internet, keen to find out more about oil pastels. I found 'ehow' and watched the videos. After that, I replaced '' with '' under my favourite sites on drawing.

CH attended her first art class during this holiday. It is with another centre. The timing was a good twice weekly over the June holidays. I just wanted her to have some fun, and to satisfy my own curiosity of how art lessons are conducted these days (without too much commitment).

Knowing the fact that my 4 year-old draws nothing but girls with long legs, I wasn't surprised when she drew a swan like a flamingo on the first day, and rabbit like a bumble bee on the second.

There wasn't any 'preferred' medium to use, but the teacher suggested poster colours for CH after the first lesson, so I grabbed it from a nearby bookshop for her to use during the next lesson.

"Could she handle it?" I had wondered aloud.
"Yes, Why not?" The teacher had replied.

For the second lesson, we brought the set of poster colours and coloured pencils along, just in case. But CH did not use the poster colours at all.

"I didn't know she had it!" Was the teacher's reply. I couldn't believe my ears. The brand new set of plated poster colours was right in front of our eyes, on the table all the time!

For the third lesson, CH still did not use the only poster colours we brought. Instead, the teacher lent her a box of oil-pastels. I did fume after the third lesson wondering how experienced the teacher is in teaching young children. And I have to admit at this point in time that the reason why I disliked oil pastels is the mess you make with them. But CH had a good time, so we carried on with the course. To me, it is an hour and a half of baby-sitting, at 7 dollars an hour.

2nd day: I mistook her rabbit as bumble bee at first glance.
She practiced using water colour at home on the same picture.

But NOW that I know better what oil pastels could do, drawing with them have become interesting to me. And knowing CH loves to 'feel' her paintings and drawings, getting down right icky and dirty, it might just be a good medium for her to start off with!

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