Art created with oil pastels on paper

Every week I have to come up with a new and exciting art projects for my students at our local homeschool co-op. Since I have several returning students, I have to come up with something new each semester. It's challenging, but I am realizing that I give them projects that I love to do myself. This is now my third year teaching art, and I have to say, I have grown to love it.

I never thought I would get excited watching what the kids come up with, but I do. I never considered myself an art teacher, or a teacher period. But something comes alive inside of me when I share about something I love. And I definitely love art and the creative spirit. And as much as I like to complain in the planning stages, it's fun thinking up something exciting to create.

It is the last class of the day, so the kids are usually loosened up enough to let their creativity soar. Since my art class has doubled in size, I have to come up with projects that we can do in under an hour, on a budget--and it has to be fun!

In the past we have done lots of painting projects but with a big class, it seems a bit too daunting for me. So we have worked mainly with collage, color pencils, tissue paper and oil pastels. I've never been a fan of pastels, but oil pastels are totally different. It has the consistency of a fat, waxy crayon, but the colors are rich and deep and amazing!

So each week when I had to prepare samples, I found myself getting carried away with the whole process. Normally, I do a quick sample, so the children can have an idea of what the project should look like. But I will admit, I take my time. I get into it. It's like therapy for me.

And ya'll know how much I need therapy.

It all started out with Modigliani elongated portraits. I started fooling around to create a sample and ended up really liking the effect on black paper.

Then of course Michael had to get involved and do his own self-portrait. I hate it when he blows me out of the water, with barely even trying!

So I got to thinking, why not do a series for Dia de los Muertos? Freehand, no sketch, primitive looking, on the black paper. I like how they turned out. So I just kept going.

Of course, I couldn't leave out Frida. She has a nopal on her forehead!

The third in the set of four...this one is a little off-centered but it's still cool. I'm working on the fourth.

The chil'rens became interested in what I was doing, so they asked if they could do one of their own. I really like the way Noah's turned out. He was very proud of himself. Art is your blood, baby!

This is today's project. We studied Gustav Klimt and his "Golden Phase". Of course I neglected to say that underneath all of his beautiful decorative nudes and gold ornamentation, he drew pornography and that is why he never got public commissions. He was a perv. But I digress. This is one of those samples that I really got into. We used magazine cut-outs of women (head and arms only) and thank goodness for my collection of Instyle mag! We glued them down and then used oil pastel, prismacolor pencils, and gold tissue paper. I love mixed media projects. This one turned out so well I think I may try a couple in this style.

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