May 22, 2011

Father’s Day Scratch Art

This scratch art project was a huge hit. Also a mess, but so worth it when I heard students say “this is so cool!”
1. I found the perfect Dad font called “Marcelle Script” and “Swashes” at I printed “Dad” with a swash on letter size paper, and made copies to 9" x 12" drawing paper.
2. I handed out all my odds and ends of oil pastels, and instructed kids to heavily color the entire paper with first a bright color (such as yellow or orange) and then a dark color (such as blue or purple). Note: Even the black letters are colored over. Only after two layers are complete do they take a wooden stylus and scratch lines to their liking. To get the best results, they should test combinations on another paper before they begin. Not all combinations create a lot of contrast, which is needed for the scratches to have impact. Also, the only oil pastels I do this with are the Portfolio® brand found at Staples and art stores like Dick Blick. They have the soft slippery quality needed for the scratches to work.
This sample was made with green pastel over bright yellow.


Cindy @ Chalk it Up! said...

This IS really cool! I may have to try this with my own kids.

Just to be sure, you handed out the paper with the word dad printed on it. Then the students colored all around the word, one layer than a second layer in a contrasting color?

Have a great summer!
formerly artspectrum now

LiEr said...

Kathy, I love your blog! You have so many great ideas and present them so simply and inspiringly. Your students must have such a blast in class! My eldest (she's 4) and I just worked with some oil pastels this week. She was so excited to get to use "mum's smooth crayons" while her little sisters were napping. She couldn't get over how smoothly they went on compared to her waxy crayolas! Mine were very old square Sakura ones (a Japanese brand) left over from my childhood that still work (shocking). I'd also bought some round Portfolio ones some months ago and Emily got to play with them and scratch designs on the layers with my seam ripper for a stylus (which we called "The Thing For Scratching). Messy work, as you said, but so fun to watch Emily try new materials and techniques. Then a couple days after, I read your post and was thrilled to be reminded that the scratchy thing was called a stylus so now I can tell her the real name. I haven't posted pictures of Emily's work but here is a picture of what I've been doing while she draws beside me - you can see those ancient dessiccated pastels too! Thank you for the post!

Kathy Barbro said...

Hi Cindy,
Yes - that's right except the kids can color right over the letters too. It's easier and everything blends together better.

Anonymous said...

how did you make the swash? I downloaded the font, but still am unsure of the swash!

Kathy Barbro said...

The swash is a separate font, look for "Marcelle Swashes"

Waseem said...

I like the idea...Kids would definitely enjoy it. How did you make the swash?

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