Warm and Cool Color Exercise

  • Young Adult
  • Grades 1-3

Create a unique design with oil pastels and tape while learning the difference between warm and cool colors!


  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors
  • Painter's Tape
  • White card stock
  • Construction paper


Step 1. Gather your supplies.

oil pastels

kids art project

Step 2.

Fold your Canvas Paper in half, open it and cut along the crease to make two pieces. For this craft, we will use warm colors on one half and cool colors on the other half. 

warm color project

Step 3.

Rip off a piece of low tack tape, such as painter’s tape, and stick it anywhere on your paper.

color wheel excercise

Step 4.

Continue adding different sized pieces of tape to your paper, overlapping the pieces as shown.

warm color excercise

Step 5.

Identify warm colors in your oil pastel pack. This includes yellows, oranges and reds. Warm colors are usually seen in warm places, like the sun or in a flame. Start with the lightest warm color, yellow and color the entire paper, going over the tape. Tip: If your hands get tired from coloring, it’s okay to take a break for a few minutes.

art project warm colors cool colors

Step 6.

Once you have covered the whole paper with the yellow, gently remove the painter’s tape. You will see white where the tape covered the paper, like a mask.

learn about warm and cool colors

Step 7.

Repeat steps 3-4. It’s okay to cover over both the white and yellow parts of the paper.

color mixing warm colors

Step 8.

Choose the next warm color in the color wheel, orange. Use the orange oil pastel to cover all the exposed areas of the paper that are not covered in tape. It’s okay to cover over the yellow design. 

how to use oil pastels

Step 9.

Remove the tape. You will now see areas of yellow and white showing through in a cool design.

warm color art project

Step 10.

Repeat Steps 3-6 using the next warm color in the color wheel, red.  It’s okay to cover over the white, yellow, and orange parts of the paper. Remove the tape to reveal your final warm color design.

oil pastel kids art

Step 11.

Repeat the above steps on the other half of the paper, this time using cool colors. Think of cool colors as ones you’d find in a cold area, such as blues, greens and purples. Start with your lightest cool color and end with the darkest.

Warm and Cool Color Exercise

Step 12.

Glue your warm color collage on red Construction Paper and your cool color collage on blue Construction Paper for a finished look.

Further Discussion:

Pair this craft with a discussion on cool and warm colors. Walk around the classroom or your house and have your children identify objects that are cool or warm colors.