Scrape painting is a fun and easy process art project for all ages. You will need some sort of paint I like to use tempera paints for the little kiddos because it is washable, but older kids could use acrylic paints (inexpensive craft acrylics work great). You will also need something to scrape the paint with, a plastic putty knife works great or an old plastic gift card is good too. For this project I like to use 80-90# mixed media paper but that is optional, use what you have. Thicker paper holds up to the scraping and paint better without tearing.
Start by placing dots of paint on the paper. You can allow the kids to do this themselves, keep in mind the kids love to squeeze so dot can be quite large! You can also choose to place the dots yourself. I do this if we are working on rainbows or if I need to keep in mind the level of mess involved in the paintings. Show the kids how to scrape the paint across the paper by holding the card or scraper on its edge. Holding it at an angle smears the paint instead of scraping so you wont get the nice translucent layered look.
The process of scrape painting is very quick. I usually have 2 or three sheets of paper for each child to work with. Once the pages are dry you can either leave them as they are or you can use them as backgrounds for further creative expression.
These scrape paintings were used with a younger group as backgrounds for print work and other paintings.
These scrape paintings were used as backgrounds for an older class that was working with positive and negative space collages.
With toddlers and preschoolers try working on the floor with a large piece of paper. This is super messy, but totally worth it! This provides an excellent sensory and large motor skill experience for the littles.
I love to pair my projects for kids with books and this one works well with any sort of rainbow book. This book, “How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow” by Monica Sweeney is a favorite go to of mine. You can read more about some of my other favorite art books for kids in this blog post.
I hope you enjoy this project as much as I do. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know about your scrape painting experience… P.S. This project is also fun for adults, it makes excellent art journal background pages!