Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pastel Resist Bugs

Bugs are a popular curriculum topic right now.

This is a project I did a couple of weeks ago with Grade 2.
We went big, colourful and shiny!


- brown kraft paper, or paper bags
- pencil and eraser
- bug reference books/pictures if needed
- black sharpie
- oil pastels
- tempera disk paint
- metallic acrylic paints
- shimmer mist, optional
- scissors


On a large piece of kraft paper draw a big bug.

Use as much of the paper as you can and when drawing legs and antennae don't just draw a single line use shapes, (squares, rectangles, triangles, circles) to form them.

On this bug you can see triangles used for the legs.

Outline everything with black sharpie but no colouring in with the sharpie.

Using oil pastels colour in your bug.  Use bright colours and allow some of the paper to show thru the pastel.

After you have coloured it all in choose 1 colour of tempera disk paint.  We used red and blue.  Apply a wash over the entire bug.  For the kids I put the disk into a separate container and add some water.

We use big brushes and I ask them to dip into the water and then go in on the disk to get nice bright colour.

Using metallic acrylic paints and the ends of paintbrushes add dots of metallic paint to your bug.

You can add some shimmer mist if you want to get that iridescent look.    The ones I used were inks which can be expensive to buy but you can also make your own.  Buy a travel mist bottle (dollar store) add a marble, pour in some metallic ink (look where the calligraphy supplies are in the art store) and you are good to go. Because this is ink it was applied by an adult.

Shake bottle well and then spray mist on.  Click on the next 2 photos for a closer look.

We used gold and pearl.

When the paper is dry cut out with scissors.

Mount on paper or just display as is.

That's it.

We also have been making lots of Mother's Day pieces.  I have made hundreds of these stepping stones in the last few days, buying concrete like crazy at the hardware store!

See you soon.


  1. I love your bugs. I don't think I understand the metallic spray; can you further explain? Why a marble?

  2. Great project Gail! Thanks once again for such a helpful tutorial!

  3. Awesome project! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Fabulous creativity, these kids must have had such fun !

  5. These are gorgeous! This is the kind of art I like doing with my children. Teaching them techniques and then letting them go to create a unique piece of art!

  6. Hi Gail! I just wanted to thank you for sharing this wonderful project. I was inspired to teach this to my own class! I linked my blog post to your tutorial and you can find it here:

    Thank you! Kristi Lynn