African Masks with Scratch Art Paper

Scratch Art paper is avail­able with either a white, col­ored, or foil back­ground, which is revealed when the black top coat­ing is scratched away with a wooden stick.  While this tech­nique is sim­ple enough for Kinders to do, the most strik­ing results are achieved by upper grade stu­dents who have the patience to make more detailed draw­ings and pat­terns.  (The younger kids often get so excited about scratch­ing away the black, that they for­get about their draw­ing and just scratch it all off — haha!)

Mate­ri­als:


Direc­tions:
1. First, look at exam­ples of African masks.  Note the styl­ized fea­tures and geo­met­ric shapes and pat­terns.
2. Fold your copy paper in half so that the long edges meet.
3. Cut out a head shape on the fold, rounded at the top and pointed at the bot­tom.
4. Then, fold your paper the other direc­tion, with the fold closer to the top.  Draw your eyes on this fold line.
5. Next, add a nose, mouth, eye­brows and some geo­met­ric pat­terns to your face.  Keep your designs sim­ple and “styl­ized”.
6. Sta­ple your Scratch Art paper to the con­struc­tion paper at the cor­ners.  (Try to touch the black sur­face as lit­tle as pos­si­ble while you’re work­ing.  The oil from your hands will make the black more dif­fi­cult to scratch off.  By sta­pling it to a larger, col­ored paper, you not only have a col­or­ful frame for your art, but also a way to han­dle it with­out touch­ing the black sur­face!)
7. Cen­ter the face you just drew over your black Scratch Art paper and trace around it and over all your lines.  When you lift your draw­ing, you will see an impres­sion of your draw­ing on the black paper.
8. Now the real fun begins!  Use a wooden stick to scratch your draw­ing onto your Scratch Art paper.  Avoid scratch­ing out large solid areas — just scratch away pat­terns instead!
9. If you want, you can use mark­ers to add a bold, geo­met­ric pat­tern to your border.

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3 Responses to African Masks with Scratch Art Paper

  1. Kirsten Larson May 13, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    I remem­ber doing this in kinder­garten. Thanks for bring­ing back a won­der­ful memory!

  2. Global Kids Oz September 4, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    I remem­ber doing some­thing sim­i­lar at school, not quite this impres­sive though. I am a fan of African inspired art­work and this is some­thing I think all chil­dren would love.

    • Cheryl Trowbridge September 4, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

      I’m a huge fan of African art, too! And you’re right, the kids LOVE it!!

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