Oil Pastel Cats in Grade One

Get your oil pastels ready because this is a really great lesson you can adapt for any subject matter. The kids voted on cats but you can do dogs, fish, butterflies, etc.

We looked at several cat pictures and talked about what we liked about them. We discussed characteristics such as what they look like, colors, shape of the eyes,etc. It is so important to discuss all this prior to beginning a lesson because it sets the mood for the kids. If you can create a slide show with different kinds of cats then this is a bonus! Google images has plenty of pictures for kids to look at. Don’t forget to also show cats in art so they see how artists also liked to draw, paint, sculpt cats.

I gave out 12×18 white paper–because I believe kids need a lot of space to draw. All our cats were to be drawn in a sitting down position. You can do running cats, sleeping cats, cats on a chair, on a rug, etc. After a quick demonstration how to ‘sketch’ the cat face and get proportions right, the kids were eager to start on their own cats.

Details were added like stripes, patches, dots and  zig-zags . The cats could also be unreal and have details such as swirls, different shapes on them, etc. The pencil lines were outlined with a black marker and the cats colored in with oil pastels. If your students want to color in a purple cat, blue cat, let them go wild–this is art class!

The background was painted with watered down tempera paint and left to dry. Final details such as bows, ribbons in the ear and borders were done with scrap pieces of tissue paper.

Didn’t these turn out gorgeous?

My son's cat!

My son’s cat!


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