Scratch Art with Muddy Waters

 
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After reading this gorgeous book, I wanted to do two things:  listen to some Muddy Waters and find a way to imitate Evan Turk's vibrantly electric illustrations. 

 pretty incredible, right??

pretty incredible, right??

Turk's lines of color slashed through black reminded me of classic scratch art.  We've never tried making our own, but I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to experiment!

Materials Needed:

  • Oil pastels
  • Sturdy paper or card stock (we used watercolor paper)
  • Masking tape
  • Black tempera paint
  • Dish soap
  • Foam brush or roller
  • Qtips, toothpicks, or other "scratching" tools

Steps:

1.  Turn up the music

 

2.  Cut paper to size and tape to work surface.  This provides stability while coloring, and it will give a nice white border to your finished product.

 I cut our paper to postcard size and gave four sheets to the six year old but just one to the three year old.  Covering a huge white space can be a daunting task for little ones.

I cut our paper to postcard size and gave four sheets to the six year old but just one to the three year old.  Covering a huge white space can be a daunting task for little ones.

3.  Let your kids go to town with oil pastels!  They can make designs, blocks of color, or pictures.  Just encourage them to press down and cover the whole area.

 Big brother loved this part... little sister got bored half way through, even with just one sheet.  Be prepared to do some teamwork coloring if you're working with little ones.

Big brother loved this part... little sister got bored half way through, even with just one sheet.  Be prepared to do some teamwork coloring if you're working with little ones.

4. Mix black paint with just a few drops of dish soap.  This will help cover the oil pastels... because... science?

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5.  Using a foam brush or roller, cover the entire surface with black paint.

6.  Here's where you have a choice.  You can wait for the black paint to dry, or you can scratch it while wet.  Big brother wanted to wait.  Little sister isn't so much into the whole waiting thing.

 I think I liked working with the wet surface better.  It was so much smoother and easier to "scratch."  Plus, if you didn't like your design, you could just paint over it and try again!

I think I liked working with the wet surface better.  It was so much smoother and easier to "scratch."  Plus, if you didn't like your design, you could just paint over it and try again!

 Here's my son working with the dried surface.  The results are still very cool, but it was a little trickier to scratch.  And black paint flakes go everywhere.  He had fun with it, though!

Here's my son working with the dried surface.  The results are still very cool, but it was a little trickier to scratch.  And black paint flakes go everywhere.  He had fun with it, though!

The finished masterpieces...

 I just love how these turned out! Homemade scratch art for the win!

I just love how these turned out! Homemade scratch art for the win!

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Click on the image above to purchase your own copy and help support this site!