Scratchboard painting

This classic craft lets kids scratch the surface to reveal their own colorful creations.

You'll Need

  • Large box of crayons
  • Poster board or thick paper
  • Toothpick or paper clip


30 minutes

Learning Stages

Introduce your child to the technique of scratchboard painting. The technique involves etching images on a black surface to reveal the colors beneath. Guide your child in following the instructions below to create his own scratchboard art:

  1. Using crayons, apply a thick layer of an assortment colors to different areas of a sheet of poster board or paper.
  2. Apply a thick layer of black crayon over the entire surface of the paper.
  3. Using a toothpick or paperclip, scratch the picture into the layer of black. A rainbow of colors will come through, forming the lines of the illustration.

For further exploration of scratchboard painting, check out the works of Brian Pinkney, an award-winning children’s book illustrator who uses scratchboard painting in his artwork.