|A student tries out the sgraffito method with tempera paint|
Once I realized that most of my students were relying WAY too heavily on magazine images in collage work, and not even really changing those images into something new, I decided I needed to go back and do another mini lesson on collage. I showed many examples of Eric Carle's illustrations from books on my classroom book shelf and we talked about how he creates visual texture in his painted papers which are later cut into shapes and glued down to make the picture. One of the painting techniques I demonstrated was sgraffito- applying one layer of paint, putting another on top, and then using the handle of the paintbrush to scratch through the top layer. I just made some simple patterns in my demonstration but the students were totally into sgraffito! Several put so much work into using the technique on their papers that they decided to keep the work as finished pieces instead of cutting them apart. I saw the technique pop up in other projects for the rest of the year. It's fun to see students so excited about a new technique.