Many-Colored Hands

HandI’ve found that students new to oil pastels often need to be guided to use them to their full potential, namely layering them. This project can be a good practice as they will be able to see that brown pastel colored over gold, for example, makes a completely different color than gold colored over brown.
1. Students are to trace their hand as many times as the they can on a piece of paper, all of them just touching each other to create lots of closed spaces. No overlapping!

2. After the hands are traced in pencil, the lines are traced with a fat black Sharpie marker.
3. The hands are colored in with oil pastels, using as many combinations as possible. My sample uses peach, golden brown, medium brown, pink and white in different layers.
4. Lastly, the closed shapes around the hands are colored with different pastels.

5 Responses

  1. Sue

    What a great idea.
    I will have to give that a go. A great start to art for the Australian school year which begins on January 27th.

  2. Deb Chitwood

    What a great idea – this would fit in with the 100 Acts of Kindness Project I’m encouraging and participating in right now.

    Thanks for all the great ideas you share! I think your blog is fabulous! I gave you an award at

  3. Tracy

    This was a fun project as I did this one with my 5yr old. She has four fingers on one hand and 5 on the other. So it really brought out the beauty of her hands.

    Love your website. I’m so glad I came upon it as we’ve been having so much fun this summer doing the projects from your website and with such great success.

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