Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pastel Resist Madonna - Art Project

Well, in the midst of the Christmas Craft day preparations I still have to come up with some good art projects for school. It's not all about the crafts you know!

Here is a Pastel Resist Madonna that I came up with for Grade 5. I'm am very pleased with the results and the kids did amazing pieces....ones that put my own sample to shame.

Click on the photo to see larger

You only need some basic supplies for this one. Try to find heavy kraft paper if you can. I've been really disappointed with the lightweight stuff that seems to be out there now....even at the Post Office. The kraft paper at school is fairly thin so I actually went to the grocery store and they sold me some bags for 6 cents a piece, not bad.


You can use the templates if you want. They are set up to so you start with the largest first and then progressively build up your design. You have to draw your own faces though.

Start with #1 and then layer each piece in order. Only trace any new lines

When your design is finished go over all pencil lines with a sharpie marker. It needs to be permanent marker to last thru the painting stage.

Using oil pastels add some color. You want to have some of the paper showing thru so it will pick up the black paint. Mix colors together and add shading and highlight if you want.

Be sure to do the background.

Now take some black tempera paint and paint over your design. We are not crumpling our paper like we have done with other resists, we want to keep it nice and flat.

The oil pastel will resist the paint. It will bead up like it has done here. Let it dry. The paint gives the piece almost a wood grain pattern so it looks like it was painted on a wood panel hundreds of years ago.

While you are waiting for it to dry cut up some pieces of cardboard. Using the edges stamp on some silver and gold acrylic paint for a gilded effect.

We want our halos to be quite decorative.

Using a Q tip add some paint dots around the halo.

On this one I decided to paint the baby Jesus in silver to draw the eye to him.

That's it.

Hope to have a few more art projects mixed in with the crafts in the coming week.

see you next time



  1. I just found your blog and love it. I hope you don't mind if I come back from time to time to be inspired.

  2. Hey Colleen, you can come back anytime you want! I'm thrilled you find some inspiration in these posts.

  3. Hi, Gail! I've loved your blog and your tutorials are so easy to follow that I put a link to them in my brazilian website :-) thanks!

  4. Wow! This look like a lot of fun--and I love your result.

  5. Thank you for posting this Gail. i am going to bookmark your blog for future projects!

  6. Another wonderful project... I just love your blog. We will trying this one out. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. My children and I each did one today and they all turned out lovely. Thanks!

  8. Hey Denise, thanks for the link. I really appreciate it.
    Laura, Aliadelaide, NatureswayLearing, and Mary Poppins NOT... thank you for the comments they are very encouraging and keep me motivated to keep on posting.

  9. Gail, we tried this project the other day. Our pastels did not resist the paint like your's did. It turned out more like a wash. They are still absolutely beautiful. Any recommendations for oil pastels? We'd like to try this technique again. Thanks for keeping my creative juices kids thank you too!

  10. Hey Anonymous,
    It might be that the pastel was not colored on thick enough...depends on the brand a bit. At home I like to use crayola pastels with the school we have a variety of brands from Faber Castell to Funstuff (which I think Staples carry. The Faber Castell seem to be the best.
    If you try this again I would just get the kids to color it in with a heavier coat than this last set. I think that will solve your problem rather than having to buy new pastels.
    Take care and i'm thrilled you are enjoying the blog.

  11. Great work. I would really like to appreciate your work. Mind Blowing. I always use to visit the Online Art Gallery to refresh my mind and eyes.

  12. I just wanted to let you know that we did these yesterday and I made a post on them, with a link to your blog. Ours were not quite as pretty as yours but I did not quite have all the materials on hand (and we are not artists.) I think they still came out quite fine and we had a great time. Pop on over and see, if you would like.

  13. My children and some friends made these on Jan 1. What a treat! We'll treasure these pieces. I wish I could post a picture of them. They're so beautiful. Thank you for posting!

  14. Hi Gail! I just had my own kids make samples for my 4th graders. We are doing this on Friday. I reduced the templates to 65% and had them do it on a paper bag which I mounted on a 4x6 piece of cardboard. Once dry, we Modge Podged over it and hung it from a pretty ribbon. It makes a gorgeous ornament. I am SO excited! They look SO beautiful! My teachers are going to be thrilled! Thank you SO much for the ideas. I have passed this blog onto all my fellow art docents!

  15. Hello!
    I wanted to do this project with my Sunday School kids and was wondering if we could use crayons to get the same effect. We have a gazillion crayons, but no oil pastels.
    Thank you this is a GREAT blog! Lots of ideas for us to use this year.

    1. Hi Mary
      Yes you can use crayons as well, they will resist the paint like the oil pastels do. When doing the wash just have the kids go over it once, wax crayons will lose the ability to resist the paint if repeatedly painted. Good luck and I'm sure they will be terrific!