Abstract Scatch Art

This project was inspired by Swiss artist Paul Klee. Paul Klee (1879–1940) was an abstract artist known for his highly indi­vid­ual style, which was influ­enced by many dif­fer­ent art move­ments, includ­ing Expres­sion­ism, Cubism and Sur­re­al­ism. Ran­dom col­ors in the back­ground appear as your design is scratched out, offer­ing a fun sur­prise whether you cre­ate a par­tial or total abstraction with your drawing!


  • White con­struc­tion paper (can be very small — my exam­ple here is 4 1/2” x 6”)
  • Blue painter’s tape or draft­ing tape
  • Oil pas­tels
  • Nail for scratching
  • Baby wipes for clean-up


  1. Tape the edges of your paper using a low-tack tape that won’t tear your paper when you remove it. This will give a crisp, white bor­der around your fin­ished work.
  2. Cover your paper with bright col­ors (no black), press­ing hard and not leav­ing any white paper showing (no need to layer col­ors as only the color touch­ing the paper will show).
  3. Cover this with a thick layer of solid black.
  4. Scratch out your design using a nail. Use as many dif­fer­ent types of lines as you can think of.
  5. Wash your hands before remov­ing the tape for a nice, clean edge!
Here’s an alter­nate to this project done with “total abstraction”.… not unlike your basic “doo­dle”, but using as many differ­ent types of lines as you can think of!
“Fish Magic” by Paul Klee

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3 Responses to Abstract Scatch Art

  1. Rachel@oneprettything.com April 4, 2009 at 10:02 am #

    What a fab­u­lous project with gor­geous results! I love this, I’ll be linking.

  2. Brittany April 29, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    I remem­ber doing some­thing like this when I was in ele­men­tary school!! I will def­i­nitely be try­ing this with my students!


  1. Paul Klee | Art-see History for Kids - April 27, 2013

    […] –> check out this cool Paul Klee art project: Abstract Scatch Art […]

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