Dine's Dark & Light Delights


Take an extraordinary look at ordinary objects, using oil pastels to experiment with color and value in the style of Pop artist Jim Dine.


1. Jim Dine is an American artist whose work ranges from sculptural forms to drawings, paintings, and assemblages. Born on June 16, 1935, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jim Dine is classified as a Pop artist, largely because the subjects of his creations are usually household items such as tools and housecoats. His most famous series of drawings and paintings include hearts and robes, which are most likely autobiographical. Research Jim Dine's creative work, examining subject matter, use of color, and gradations of value.

2. On white drawing paper, use Crayola® Oil Pastels to draw a simple outline of a household object, such as a fork, hammer, or toothbrush. As Dine did, limit yourself to one or two colors plus black and white. Start at the top of the object and color in your drawing with dark, intense color. As you move down the object, make it lighter and lighter until you reach the bottom of the object, where it remains white.

3. Color in the background of your drawing in the opposite way, making the bottom very dark and the top very light. Make your changes in value (darkness and lightness) very gradual, so there are no obvious lines in your drawing, much like Dine's style.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.


  • Jim Dine also created sculptures that included tools and other household objects. Create an assemblage of recycled household items. Arrange them on a block of wood and paint with Crayola Portfolio Series™ Acrylic Paint.
  • For Valentine's Day, research and create an assortment of hearts, in the manner of Jim Dine. Or do an autobiographical drawing in Dine's style.
  • Experiment with color value using different media such as oil pastels, colored pencil, watercolor, and tempera. How does each medium vary? What different techniques can you use to control the value of each?

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Crayola® Oil Pastels
  • Giant Floor Pad



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Language Arts
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children research the varied creative work of Jim Dine, an American Pop artist, whose works are largely autobiographical.

  • Students closely examine works in Dine's Hearts and Robes series, including subject matter, use of color, and gradations in value.

  • Children draw a common object varying the value of the colors in both the subject and background.


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