Lessons painting with pastels for kids

There is a lot of Ted Harrison love at the school these days. Both Grades 2 and 3 are completing lessons painting with pastels for kids projects based on his work. Ted Harrison is a well known Canadian artist famous for his use of line and color in his landscape paintings around his beloved Yukon home.

This is an easy art project based on his work. I like to tape off my paper and then draw in your line design. You want to discuss the way Ted Harrison uses a strong line to show shape or contour of the landscape, how the line is just as important as the color. With younger kids you may want to use pastels or wax crayons and draw those heavy lines. I’m using crayon here and they resist the paint allowing you to keep those heavy lines, oil pastels work even better.

It’s good to start with the lightest colors first and then work your way to the darkest. Although the crayon or pastel resists the paint you still want the kids to stay within the lines if the can so you have those separate areas of deep color. With older kids you can get them to conserve that white line. When painting with watercolors you’ll want to leave some space between the colors any way so they don’t mix together before drying. Another option is to try the stained glass method. I’ve mixed a couple of squirts of acrylic paint into a bottle of white school glue. I then use this to mark my heavy lines, lie flat and let dry.

Once the glue is dry paint in your strong color. They glue helps to corral the paint in each area for easier painting. Now you can add an Inukshuk if you wish. Cut out individual stones out of black paper. Then glue down on top of your painting. Place a sheet of wax paper on top and rest a heavy book on top of that to help it dry flat. The paintings also look great just on their own.

Here is some work by Grade 2. They used their twistables for this and it turned outĀ terrificĀ but I think they are ready to try the painting option. I never drawn with glue in the lower grades. Did you know that now there is a book about Ted Harrison for children. It’s called A Brush Full of Colour and has 24 coloured images of his paintings.