Susan Riley | April 2017

Oil Pastel Arts Integration Technique

Today, I am sharing with you a visual art technique I was introduced to by Jean Van’t Hul from The Artful Parent.  It’s a perfect way to connect science and art through the idea of solvents.  These oil pastel techniques allows you to “paint” with the pastels using vegetable oil.

oil pastel and vegetable oil


Tips for using these Oil Pastel Techniques

This technique provides you with a low-cost way to explore how different solvents can provide different effects.  You can also try this with baby oil and even Crisco.  The oils dry quickly and you can almost immediately color directly over the colors again to add depth to the work.

I also really enjoy that pairing this with Mandalas offers a connection to math through patterns and even numbers and operations. There’s such a variety of ways to integrate through just this one technique!

I hope you’ll try out this oil pastel technique this week and let me know how it goes if you do.  I’d love to see how you and your students take this to the next level.

About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan