Create Your Own Oil Pastel Portraits

oil pastel portrait 1Oil pastels are a colorful choice for art projects of all kinds. They can be found at any art store. Also look for them at yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores to save money. Decorate your classroom or hallway with oil pastel portraits that your kids made.  Frame your oil pastel portraits for a bright piece of artwork that will cheer up any space.


The oil pastel portraits shown on this page were drawn on white construction paper.  The portrait shown to the right is an example of what it looks like to fill in the entire page with color.  In the portrait below, the white background is left showing through.



  • Oil Pastels
  • White Construction Paper 9×12 inches


oil pastel portrait 2To get started, draw the outline of your portrait lightly on your paper.  Start with an oval for the face.  Then add the hair and eyes.

You can draw an S to make the nose.  I like to show this trick to my students, as it makes for an easy way to create this feature.

Draw the lips and other details.
Fill in the outline, starting with lighter colors, and finishing with darker colors.  Blend the colors together using your fingers or the oil pastel itself.  Continue coloring until your whole paper is filled with color or leave the background showing if you prefer a more minimal look to your portrait.