Two Schools of Thought

Lesson Plan, Grades 9-12, Art, History, Math, Science, Sakura, Painting, Mixed Media


Lesson Plan and Artwork by Phyllis M. Annett

‘Color’ will be the subject for students to explore the various techniques of painting with a mixture of Sakura Oil Pastels and mineral spirits. This enables the use of oil pastels in a painterly manner over a black art board substrate. The unique Sakura Oil Pastels were chosen for this lesson because of their intense pigmentation, blending ability, light fast rating of colors, and the ability to mix with other painting mediums.


  • Expand their knowledge and experience of painting techniques with a medium other than paint: in this case a mixture of the unique Sakura Specialist Oil Pastels and Mineral Spirits.
  • Apply the specific techniques of oil pastel application in a painterly brush stroke manner.
  • Learn to apply the Elements and Principles of Art & Design.

Supplies Needed

Sakura® Cray-Pas® Specialist™ Oil Pastels, 2-1/2 x 2/5 x 2/5 Inches, Assorted Color, Set of 25
Sakura® Pen-touch™ Metallic Paint Marker, 1 mm Fine Tip, Copper
Sakura® Pen-touch™ Metallic Paint Marker, 1 mm Fine Tip, Gold
Sakura® Pen-touch™ Metallic Paint Marker, 1 mm Fine Tip, Silver
Sakura® Pen-touch™ Opaque Paint Marker, 1 mm Fine Tip, White
General's® Number 555 Layout® Pencils, Extra Soft, Black, Pack of 12
The Master's® Non-Toxic Water Soluble Brush Cleaner and Preserver, 24 Ounce Tub, Lemon Scented
Saral® Wax-Free Transfer Paper, 12-1/2 Inches x 12 Feet, White
Sax® Trim Short Handle Watercolor Paint Brushes, Assorted Sizes, Pack of 36
Sax® True Flow® Low VOC Odorless Solvent, 1 Quart
School Smart® Kraft Paper Sheets, 60 lbs, 12 x 18 Inches, Brown, Pack of 100
Strathmore® 300 Series Paper Palette, 9 X 12 Inches, 40 Sheets
Crescent® 8 Ultra-Black™ Mounting Board, 11 x 14 Inches, Pack of 40
Jack Richeson™ Flexible Painting Knives, Assorted Size, White, Set of 60
Jack Richeson™ Single-Pointed End Blending Tortillons, Pack of 36
Scratch-Art® Large Stylus Stick, 5-1/4 x 1/4 Inches, Pack of 25
Crescent® 8 Ultra-Black™ Mounting Board, 16 x 20 Inches, Pack of 10
Factis® Magic Latex-Free Eraser, 1-5/8 x 1 x 7/16 Inches, Black, Pack of 18
Creativity Street® Cotton Art/Craft Swabs with Wood Shaft, 6 Inches, Pack of 100
Krylon® Workable Fixatif Varnish Spray, 11 Ounces
3M® 301+ Performance Yellow Masking Tape, 0.75 Inch x 60 Yards
*Here are the supplies needed for this lesson plan for reference. Find a convenient carousel of shoppable products for this lesson below.


Standard #2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Standard #3: Refine and complete artistic work.
Standard #5: Develop and refine artistic work for presentation.
Standard #6: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
Standard #9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
Standard #10: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
Standard #11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.



Inform students that they will use Sakura Specialist Oil Pastels on a black art board on two levels, using techniques specific to the application of oil pastels and those of painting in general. NOTE: The Sakura Specialist Oil Pastels can be mixed with other painting mediums as used in this lesson.


Have students prepare pastels by making some oil pastel marks on a palette and mixing in mineral spirits with a brush. This mixture will lend itself to surface brush painting techniques such as glazing and blending for gradient washes of color.


Make your own version of this lesson to inspire and direct your students.


Demonstrate how to mix colors with the Sakura Oil Pastels with mineral spirits or by using them in stick form and observe the effect of the black art board on the colors.


Demonstrate Oil Pastel techniques: ie. Blending, Gradient Washes, Overlays, Scraffito, Pointillism, Brush Work, and Glazing.


Tools for the application of Oil Pastels are: stylus sticks, Tortillons, palette knives, brushes, and craft swabs etc.


Give students a session to experiment with techniques and blending of mineral spirits with oil pastels on pieces of the black art board. Encourage students to create their own color swatch chart on board to use as a guide when they paint.


Have students think of colorful creatures and plants from our planet or an imaginary one and let them know that the ‘Color’ is the subject of the project. The work should immediately draw attention to its vibrant color scheme.


Instruct students to create a ‘line drawing design’ on brown kraft paper, referring to the Elements and Principles of Art & Design as a guide for a good composition. Big open space in the design will offer room to do a lot of blending of color.


Due to the fact that the artwork will be on two levels, cut the transfer paper and brown kraft paper to the size of the top board only. Students will use a white chalk pencil to draw the second level of the design onto the bottom board.


Inform and instruct students to take their line drawing and transfer it to the top level of the boards using the transfer paper in white. Graphite transfer paper may leave dark lines on the board and interfere with the colors.


Have students apply the oil pastels to the top board only.


After all the painting is done for the top level, students will center the top board over the bottom board. This will create a waterfall effect showing how the top design can spill over onto the bottom level adding more interest for the viewer.


Students can now complete the work by painting its bottom board, keeping in mind that the design will extend under the top level.


Show students how to create stacked bricks from small pieces of the black art board to elevate the top board over the bottom board.


Display all the paintings and set aside a time for students to discuss their own work and the work of others.


Enjoy your students and their ‘Color’ studies!