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Easiest Valentine Art

This may be the easiest Valentines art for kids project that I know of. If you can layer oil pastels, you can scratch out some very artsy looking hearts.

valentines art for kids

I’ve added color lessons to this before, but honestly some of the most striking hearts (this one especially) came from just free form coloring.

No matter which route you go though, I do believe the best results will come with using my favorite Portfolio brand of oil pastels. Yes, they are more expensive than others, and yes they will leave color on your fingers and floor, if they end up there. But the colors that you get are so rich that will rival the look of an oil painting. Which is never going to happen in a classroom, I’m pretty sure.


  • Old newspaper or butcher paper
  • Heavy white paper for drawing, cardstock is best
  • Portfolio oil pastels
  • Stick or skewer


  1. Cover your tables with something to collect the pastel crumbs that will be made with this. They really do get everywhere.
  2. Draw a large heart on your paper.
  3. Color the inside of the heart heavily with one or more colors.
  4. Color the outside of the heart heavily with one or more colors.
  5. The INSIDE of the heart is colored again, with one or more colors. If you don’t have two layers, the scratching will not have the same effect.
  6. Use a stick to scratch away some or all of the top layer of the heart.

Scratch Art Heart

This is what you save that old broken batch of pastels for. Choose a simple shape for students to draw, layer with color, and then scratch away. The fun part is that if they don’t like their design, they can “erase” by coloring over and scratching again.


  • Heavy drawing paper
  • Oil pastels (I prefer the soft Portfolio brand)
  • Skewer or scratching stick


  1. Students fold the paper in half the long way so they have a center line to draw the heart.
  2. A large symmetrical heart is drawn in the middle of the paper.
  3. In this case, the student colored the heart yellow and the background pink.
  4. She then colored blue over the pink and red over the yellow. Heavy coloring is important. No white spots!
  5. A stick is used to scratch a message in the heart.

Oil Pastel Heart

Oil Pastel Heart

• Multimedia paper
• Oil pastels, I prefer the Portfolio brand

1. After viewing some of Jim Dine’s painting to see his style, students used a pencil to draw one large heart.

2. They filled in the heart with either only warm or cool color oil pastels. Whatever group they chose for the inside, the background had to be the opposite. We used my favorite pastels, the Prismacolor® brand you can find at Staples. They are messy because they are so soft, but that is also why they leave such great color. The goal was to follow Dine’s blotchy style, which I think frees them up to just color in free form fashion.

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