On a recent trip to the mountains, I only brought along some crayon pastels and tag board thinking I might makes some quick studies of the beautiful mountain landscapes around. I was feeling very connected to the nature around me but instead of a landscape, I felt like making a mandala. What else is new? I revisited an old project that I used to do with my younger elementary school art students – Scratchboard – although we used to call it “black magic”.
You can create your own scratchboard using either crayon or crayon pastels. Pressing firmly, cover the entire piece of paper or tag board, making sure not to leave any paper uncovered, and then cover completely with black crayon, black ink or tempera paint mixed with some dish or hand soap liquid so it will stick to the waxy crayon. Afterwards we scratch our design into the black paper and uncover all the colors below. It felt like I do was doing scrimshaw rather constructing a mandala. Although I think it was a nice change and kids of all ages will love it. I only had a nail and my compass point to work with but there are tools available with varied thicknesses.
If you try it, make sure to use some newspaper underneath to catch the bits of black crayon that you scratched off, and let me know how it goes.