Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Bruce Gray Animal Oil Pastels

By Janis (year 3 student)
Lesson Background:

Our school had an RSPCA fundraiser last week and so I thought my class would enjoy creating some animal-inspired artworks!  I trawled through Google images and came across the stunning artworks of Bruce Gray.  We based these artworks on Gray's oil pastel drawings...

"Picattso #7" original Bruce Gray artwork that inspired us
Lesson Steps:

1)  We read a brief biography of Bruce Gray.
2)  We looked at photos of his artworks and discussed his use of colour, shape and line.
3)  The students were each given an A3 sheet of art paper.  I demonstrated how to draw large boxes of different shapes and sizes all over the page, which locked in together like jigsaw pieces.
4)  I then demonstrated how to draw simple body parts of animals from different angles (teeth, tails, claws, whiskers, legs, fur, etc).  As I demonstrated each drawing, the children chose one of their boxes on their artwork and copied the body part inside it. 
5)  Once I had demonstrated a range of body parts, the children filled in the rest of the boxes by repeating the body part drawings in different places and using different angles.
6)  I then demonstrated how to outline each shape in coloured oil pastel, colour it in and then use lighter or darker colours to add light and shading.  I also suggested how they could use interesting colour combinations to make their shapes and patterns stand out (e.g. red and yellow, pink and green, purple and orange).
7)  The students coloured their own artworks in, being careful to colour thickly and with no white gaps.
8)  I showed the students how to outline every box and shape with black oil pastel.  The students then went back and outlined their own artworks.

Year 3 Student Artworks

By Andrew (Year 3 student, 2011)

By Andrea G

By Kaya

By Arpita

By Charlotte

By Tom N. (Year 3 student, 2011)

By Charlotte, Andrew, Nick, Dharan. Keyan and Kaya

By Andrea G, Tom N, Aimee, Arpita, Jia and Liam

By Denzelle, Parth, Dane, Kundai, Shaun and Olivia

By Josh and Axel

A sample artwork I made to help guide the students

some of 3B's beautiful oil pastel drawings


  1. i am very impressed.

  2. Hi Mrs Baker. I really enjoyed seeing the students versions of my artwork! There are some very cool works here. I am going to have to add a link to your website.

    Bruce Gray

    1. Thanks for your lovely comments, Bruce. It was one of my most enjoyable and successful art lessons I have taught. The kids adored your art and got a lot out of making their own Bruce Gray-inspired works.