Textured Painting

Jean Dubuffet was a French artist whose work included paintings and large-scale sculptures. He used a range of unconventional materials such as sand, pebbles, and butterfly wings, and was often inspired by found objects, patterns, and textures. He was also drawn to the powerful work created by children, prisoners and psychiatric patients, who had received no formal training in art. This prompted him to coin the term Art Brut to refer to their art, which was filled with a spontaneity and freedom he greatly admired and was inspired by. Let’s celebrate that spontaneity and freedom children have by playing with plaster and creating some textures.


  • piece of wood
  • Plaster of Paris
  • disposable gloves (optional)
  • mixing bowl
  • stirring utensil
  • sand
  • texture creating tools e.g. skewer, palette knife
  • items to press into plaster e.g. plastic mesh, sea shells, toothpicks, etc.
  • acrylic paint


1. To make a textured painting, you’ll need to mix some Plaster of Paris by following the instructions on the package. Make enough to cover the piece of wood you will be using as your base.

2. Once it has thickened a bit, scoop up some plaster and spread it around the wood. Add some sand, and create further texture by dragging tools like skewers and forks through the plaster, or pressing items like plastic mesh, toothpicks and beads on top. Make sure to remove them before the plaster sets completely or you’ll have a tough time getting them off. You can also add a few splatters and dots of left over plaster on top of the first layer, to create further texture.

3. Dubuffet believed colour wasn’t always necessary because textured surfaces had so much to offer on their own. Some of his paintings were monochromatic, adding only one colour like in Lever De Lune Aux Fantômes. The choice is yours. Once dry, you can sit back and admire your work, or add a little paint to brighten it up.

Painted version

Inspiration for this project:

Lever de Lune Aux Fantômes, 1951 by Jean Dubuffet



Filed under Artists, Jean Dubuffet

6 responses to “Textured Painting

  1. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Appreciate it!

    • Here’s what they said to do at WordPress:

      “At the bottom of the email you receive you ought to be able to find a link you can click to “unsubscribe”. Please look at the email closely and see if you can find that “unsubscribe” link.”

      Please let me know if it continues to be a problem, and sorry about the 3 emails each time. No idea why that was happening!

  2. Wonderful and so interesting – a great way to explore both art and texture. I am inspired.

    Thank you for joining our Arty journey on Kids Get Arty!


  3. Pingback: 30 Art Projects for Kids looking at the Great Artists

  4. Pingback: 38 Awesome Art Projects for Kids Inspired by Famous Artists - Crafty Kids at Home

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