Scratch Painting

You will need:

  • Paper
  • Crayons or oil pastels
  • Black tempera paint (or another dark color)
  • Paintbrush
  • Toothpicks or wooden skewer


    1. 1. Cover your piece of paper with color!  Use your crayons or oil pastels to create a pattern or single color that covers all the blank space on your paper.  You can do stripes, blobs, or anything you’d like!
    2. 2. Cover your entire paper with tempera paint.  You might need to do two layers. Let dry.
    3. 3. Once the paint is dry, you can use your toothpick or skewer like a pencil to scratch away a design in the paint, revealing your colorful crayon drawings underneath!

Watch this how-to video to get started

Search Mia’s collection to find more artworks to inspire you

Jane Kent (American, born 1952), Untitled (Yellow and Black), 1990, color mezzotint and aquatint. Gift of funds from the Print and Drawing Council, P.91.16


Emily Arthur, Cherokee (born 1972). Black Water (with Dark Bird), 2015, Color etching and screenprint with chine applique on glazed paper. Gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D., 2016.30.7