Scratching The Surface

In my previous post, the art of sgraffito was explored with the use of plaster. Here’s a simple variation using oil pastels.


  • card stock or thick paper (thin paper will tear easily)
  • oil pastels, including black
  • wooden skewer


This is a simple and wonderful way to demonstrate how sgraffito works. Use a variety of different coloured oil pastels to create a layer of colour on your paper. Now add a second layer on top of these colours using only black. Once the colours are completely covered with the black, use a wooden skewer to make a drawing by scratching away areas of the top layer. Removing areas of  black reveals the underlying colours.

Children can experiment will all sorts of colour combinations. I chose black for the top layer because it brings out the intensity of the other colours so nicely, but other colours can also be used for the top layer.


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