Texture is an element of art that really speaks to kids because they can feel it with their fingers, literally. These texture rubbings are going to translate actual textures into bold patterns using oil pastel and tissue paper.
Add in the concept of creating rhythm and contrast within an artwork and you’ve got yourself a winner of a lesson.
Actual texture vs. implied texture
There are two kinds of texture when you’re talking about art. Actual texture is the easier of the two for kids to grasp. Actual texture is what kids feel when they reach out with their fingers. It is the rough log, the smooth stone, or the bumpy burlap.
Implied texture is a tool artists use to make a smooth two dimensional paper appear to have a different texture.
Texture rubbings 101…
Remember unwrapping crayons and sliding them sideways across a paper positioned over something bumpy? We’ve done this over leaves and any number of objects. So pretty.
Texture rubbings take two….
The change up today is instead of crayons we’re going to unwrap an oil pastel or two and use those. If you only have crayons, use those. They will work fine. But if you have oil pastels I urge you to try them! Their softness will give an intensity and brightness to your rubbings that crayons just don’t have.
We did our rubbings on vibrant tissue paper. It’s thin weight makes every little bump and cranny show up. Smooth , thin paper will work too. Use what you have!
Whether you are inside or out actual textures will be easy for your kiddos to find. The toy bin, the patio, the kitchen all have textures they can feel with their fingers and will translate well into texture rubbings.
Lay the tissue paper on top of whatever they have chosen, lay unwrapped oil pastel on it’s side and slide back and forth. If they are struggling with their paper bunching up direct kids to only go one direction with their oil pastel. That will allow them more control.
Now for some principles…
You’ve got all these crazy, patterned tissue papers. You could stop here. The texture rubbings could be a finished project all by themselves depending on the age of your kids.
Let’s take it to the next level and introduce a couple of principles of design. (See this post for more details and a free printable about the principles of design!)
One way to achieve some rhythm in an artwork is to repeat an element over and over. We chose to repeat the shape of a circle, in various sizes, over and over. Pick a simple shape and make a composition using just that shape.
Use a glue stick to glue all shapes down to a black paper. We used 12 x 18 Tru- Ray construction paper.
After shapes are glued down grab a white oil pastel or crayon. Using only black and white in the background of such a colorful artwork will provide contrast, another principle of design.
We focused on a pattern made of contour lines that followed our circles shape but feel free to get creative here!
The basics of this project are simple. Texture rubbings using bright colors, repeated shapes, and a contrasting background. Allow your students some wiggle room as to how they accomplish these objectives!
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