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Students will use oil pastels to create artwork inspired by the "Entomology Paintings" of British contemporary artist Damien Hirst.


In this lesson students will...

- gain an understanding of radial symmetry.

- learn how to successfully blend oil pastels. 

- view the art of Damien Hirst and make comparisons between his work and their own. 

Tools & Materials

-  Pencil

-  Scissors

-  Square drawing paper in two sizes. I used a 6 x 6 inch and a 12 x 12 inch piece

-  Oil Pastels

-  Black Tempera Paint

-  Paint Brushes​


Damien Hirst -​ An English contemporary artists whose work explores the concept of life and death through sculpture.

Radial Symmetry - ​Symmetry around a central axis, as in a starfish or an orange slice.

Oil Pastels - ​A painting and drawing medium with characteristics similar to pastels and wax crayons. They are unlike "soft" or "Japanese" pastel sticks, which are made with a gum or methyl cellulose binder. Oil pastels consist of pigment mixed with a non-drying oil and wax binder.



1. Students will be shown a presentation about Damien Hirst that includes his sculptural work and the Entomology Paintings series.


2. Students will receive square sheets of paper that will serve as one quadrant of the final artwork.

3. Students will use printed out insect silhouettes to trace and organize their quadrant symmetrically, using a diagonal fold at the center of the square.

4. The student will organize their bug silhouette on the one quadrant using printed out references which can be traced at their desk, at the window, or at the light table.

5. When students have finished tracing bug shapes onto the single quadrant, they will receive a large sheet of paper which dimensions are equal to four of the first quadrant. They will use their first organized quadrant to trace each quadrant of their large paper, rotating their original quadrant each time to create radial symmetry.

6. When each quadrant is filled with insect shapes, students will receive oil pastels and a demo on how to use them to create color blends. Students will be shown which colors blend into each other effectively.

7. Students will color their insect shapes using this material creating color blends.


7. When students have completed the oil pastel portion of their work, they will be instructed to paint the area surrounding each bug with black tempera paint, paying careful attention not to cover up the legs of their bugs.


8. They will be instructed to paint at least 3 coats to create even coverage.

South Carolina Visual Arts Standards

Standard 5: The student will analyze and assess the characteristics and qualities of his or her own works of visual art and those of others.


VA7-5.1 ​Compare various purposes for the creation of works of visual art.


VA7-5.2 ​Describe, discuss, and evaluate, both orally and in writing, the different qualities and characteristics of his or her own artworks and those of others.

Standard 3:​ The student will examine the content of works of visual art and use elements from them in creating his or her own works.


VA7-3.2 Select and use subject matter, symbols, ideas, and the elements and principles of design to communicate meaning through his or her art-making.


VA7-3.4 Compare and contrast his or her works of visual art with those of an established artist.

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