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Lesson 3: Drawing Animals With Oil Pastels


Students will explore using pastels to make marks and shapes and blend colors. They will use oil pastels to draw imaginary animals and focus on facial expressions. Students will understand how to use oil pastels in a variety of ways and be able to draw an imaginary animal with a specific emotion.

Grade Level



Drawing, Collage, Puppetry

  • Unit & Lessons
  • Teaching Tools


  • Oil pastel sets
  • White drawing paper – 9 x 12″
  • Resource: photos of animals


Step 1

Demonstrate and have students explore using oil pastels to make marks, draw shapes, smudge, and blend colors.

Step 2

Demonstrate drawing an imaginary animal by combining characteristics and shapes from different animals. Discuss different expressions and the emotions they show and demonstrate choosing and drawing an expression for your animal.

Step 3

Have students draw their imaginary animal with a facial expression that shows an emotion.


Students will reflect on their work by talking about how their animal is feeling.

How is your animal feeling?  
How does the face show this emotion?
Do you remember a time when you felt this same emotion? Why? What happened?

Writing Prompt (optional):

Students will reflect on their work by writing 2-3 sentences about how their animal is feeling. Use the following sentence starters if necessary.

My animal is feeling _________. (Examples: happy, excited, sad, angry, surprised)

I showed this emotion by making the eyes _______ and the eyebrows __________.  (Examples: oval, straight, round, curved, square, wavy, rectangular, triangular)

I made the mouth with  _______ lines. (Examples: straight, curved, wavy, zigzag)


Oil pastels: hard, soft, blend, mix, smudge 

Facial expressions: eyes, nose, mouth, eyebrows, happy, sad, excited, scared


Photos of animals