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Lesson 4: Two Color Mixing (Red and Blue)


Line and Mark Exploration

In this lesson, you will make a new color with your oil pastels by mixing red and blue. What colors do you already know how to make? How did you make green? How did you make orange?

Grade Level

Pre-K & K


Oil Pastel



  • Unit & Lessons

Materials and Tools

  • Set of oil pastels 
  • 9 x 12” paper 
  • Paper towel


Step by Step:  

  1. Open your oil pastels. 
  1. Take out the red and blue oil pastels. What colors have we already mixed?  
  1. What colors did we make? 
  1. Make a patch of color using red. Remember you can press hard or softly.
  1. Then, let’s make a patch of blue. 
  1. Make a new patch of blue. Then, make a new red patch next to it. What do you think will happen when they get close to each other and meet?
  1. Let’s try all the different ways we know how to mix! Do you remember them? 
  1. Try mixing by pressing as lightly as you can with the red, then lightly add blue. 
  1. Try mixing by pressing hard with the red, then adding blue. 
  1. What if you start with blue, then add red? Is it different than starting with red, then adding blue? Which color do you think is stronger? 
  1. Try smearing or spreading the color with your finger to mix. 
  1. How else can you mix the colors? 
  1. Try to make as many different kinds of purple as you can! Make dark purple! Make light purple! 
  1. When you’re done, clean off your oil pastels by wiping off the tip with a paper towel.  

Prompts for Independent Art Making: 

What kinds of things can you think of that are purple? Can you find anything in your classroom or your home? Outside your window? Do you ever remember seeing purple in the sky? What kinds of things are purple? What is your favorite thing that is purple? 

Now you know how to use the three primary colors—red, yellow, and blue—to mix the three secondary colors—green, orange, and purple—make a drawing using as many different colors as you can! 

Artists for Inspiration:

Harold Weston

David Driskell

What colors do you see in the first painting by Harold Weston? Can you find a purple that looks like it has more blue in it than red? A purple with more red than blue?  
What do you think is happening in this painting?  
What colors do you see in the second painting by David Driskell? What lines or marks do you notice?  

Reflection Questions

  • When you mixed red and purple, what color did you make? 
  • How did you make light purple? How did you make dark purple? 
  • what are some names for different purples? (grape purple. plum purple, sunset purple)


Oil pastel, smudge/smear, mix, blend, primary colors—red, yellow, blue, mixed colors—green, orange, purple 


Harold Weston

David Driskell

Books: I Don’t Draw, I Color! by Adam Lehrhaupt