Key Hole Project

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Project Description

Project Goals:

Explore Scratch Art Techniques:
Gain proficiency in various scratch art techniques, including stippling, hatching, cross-hatching, and contour scratching.

Imagination and Creativity:
Develop your ability to envision and execute a visually compelling and imaginative artwork by selectively scratching away the dark surface to reveal a colorful layer beneath.

Texture and Depth:
Experiment with creating depth, texture, and contrast in your scratch art piece to make it visually captivating.

Attention to Detail:
Practice precision and patience in your scratch work, paying attention to fine details that bring your artwork to life.

Project Steps:

Gather Materials:
Acquire the necessary materials, including scratch art paper or boards and scratch tools. Scratch art paper comes in various forms, such as black-coated boards or paper with a colored layer underneath.

Choose a Subject:
Select a subject for your scratch art drawing. It could be a landscape, portrait, abstract design, or anything that inspires you. Ensure your subject works well with the contrast of dark and colorful elements.

Sketch the Design:
Create a preliminary sketch of your design on the scratch art surface using a soft pencil or a light sketching tool. Keep in mind that your sketch will be scratched away, so keep it minimal.

Scratch the Dark Surface:
Begin the process of selectively scratching away the dark surface using your scratch tools. Experiment with different techniques to achieve various textures and effects.

Add Depth and Details:
As you work, focus on adding depth and intricate details to your artwork. Consider where the light source is coming from and emphasize shadows and highlights accordingly.

Experiment with Color:
If you're using scratch art paper with colored layers underneath, explore how different colors can be revealed to create a visually dynamic composition.

Refine and Revise:
Continuously refine your scratch art piece, making adjustments as needed to achieve the desired result. Take your time to perfect the details.

Final Touches:
Once you are satisfied with your scratch art drawing, carefully clean away any remaining debris or pencil marks, ensuring a clean and polished appearance.

Throughout this project, embrace the tactile nature of scratch art and allow your creativity to flow as you reveal the hidden beauty beneath the surface. Encourage exploration and experimentation with different scratch tools and techniques to create a captivating and unique scratch art drawing that showcases your artistic vision.


Scratch Art Paper or Board: Scratch art paper is typically coated with a layer of dark ink or paint, covering a layer of bright, contrasting colors. You can find scratch art paper in various sizes and formats, such as sheets, pads, or scratch art boards.

Scratch Tools:
These are the key instruments for creating scratch art. You have several options:

Scratchboard Tools: These are specialized scratch tools with a fine point that allows for precise scratching. They often come in various shapes and sizes, including fine-tipped and broad-tipped tools.

Wooden Stylus: A wooden stylus is a simple, yet effective, scratching tool. You can use the pointed end for fine lines and details and the flat end for broader areas.

Metal Paper Clips or Pins: You can also use metal paper clips or pins with a fine point as makeshift scratch tools if you don't have access to specialized tools

Reference Material: If you're working on a specific subject or image, reference materials, such as photographs or sketches, can be helpful for planning your design.

Protective Barrier:
Lay down a protective barrier like newspaper or a disposable tablecloth to catch the ink or paint particles that will be scratched away during the process.

Optional materials that can enhance your scratch art project:

Masking Tape:
Use masking tape to secure your scratch art paper or board to your work surface, ensuring it doesn't move while you work.

Soft Eraser:
A soft eraser can be handy for removing any stray marks or smudges on the scratch art surface.

Fixative Spray:
If you wish to preserve your scratch art piece, you can use a fixative spray. However, this step is optional and should be done in a well-ventilated area.

Frame or Mounting Supplies:
If you intend to display your finished scratch art piece, you'll need a frame or mounting materials to protect and showcase your artwork.

Learning Objectives

Scratch Art Techniques:
  • Develop proficiency in various scratch art techniques, including stippling, hatching, cross-hatching, and contour scratching.
  • Explore the use of different scratch tools to create a range of textures and effects.
  • Creativity and Composition:
  • Cultivate the ability to conceptualize and plan a visually engaging scratch art composition.
  • Experiment with different subject matter and design elements to create unique and imaginative scratch art pieces.
  • Color Understanding:
  • Explore the interaction between the dark surface layer and the colored layer underneath.
  • Develop an understanding of how scratching techniques can reveal colors and create contrast within the artwork.
  • Observational Skills:
  • Practice keen observation by translating real-life objects or references into scratch art compositions.
  • Focus on capturing details, textures, and the play of light and shadow.
  • Precision and Patience:
  • Enhance precision in scratching techniques to create fine lines, intricate patterns, and subtle shading.
  • Cultivate patience when working on intricate details to achieve a polished outcome.
  • Problem-Solving:
  • Develop problem-solving skills by addressing challenges that arise during the scratch art process, such as correcting mistakes or adapting to unexpected results.
  • Artistic Expression:
  • Express personal creativity, emotions, and ideas through the medium of scratch art.
  • Explore the potential of scratch art as a means of self-expression and storytelling.
  • Artistic Presentation:
  • Learn how to present scratch art drawings effectively, whether through mounting, framing, or other display methods.
  • Consider how presentation choices impact the viewer's perception of the artwork.
  • Critique and Feedback:
  • Develop the ability to self-assess and critique one's own work.
  • Be open to receiving constructive feedback from peers or instructors to further improve artistic skills.
  • Art History and Context:
  • Gain an understanding of the history and significance of scratch art as an art form.
  • Explore how contemporary artists use scratch art as a medium for artistic expression.
  • Safety and Materials Handling:
  • Learn to handle scratch tools safely to avoid accidents and injuries.
  • Understand how to store and care for scratch art materials to prolong their lifespan.

  • Rubric

    Rubrics have become popular with teachers as a means of communicating expectations for an assignment, providing focused feedback on works in progress, and grading final products. A rubric is a document that articulates the expectations for an assignment by listing the criteria, or what counts, and describing levels of quality from excellent to poor.

    The rubric for the key hole can be viewed, downloaded and printed below. Enjoy


    An element of art that refers to the way things feel, or look as if they might feel if touched.

    Artist : Sally Maxwell

    Sally Maxwell Recognized as a pioneer in scratchboard, Sally was one of the first designated as a Master Scratchboard Artist by the International Society of Scratchboard Artists. She is a Signature member of the Society of Animal Artists and a Silver Signature member of Artists Changing Tomorrow and an active member of American Women Artists. Sally was one of the first to introduce color to the medium and has been perfecting her craft since 1967.

    Sally has an innate connection with the animal world and regularly travels to exotic locations to photograph her subjects and experience their behavior in the wild. Her works are on display in museums nationwide and in private collections across the globe.

    Project Example

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    Project Demonstration

    Student Work

    You're Ready to Start Your Project.

    Project Submission

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    Key Hole Comments

    Keyhole Project
    The keyhole project and the water painting project are both similar and different. A similarity between the two is that both projects use perspective. A difference between the projects is that they use different methods of spreading color throughout the piece. In the keyhole project, we used crayons to add color to the keyhole. While in the water color project (as stated in the name) is painted with water color.  
    Keyhole project
    The keyhole was my favorite because it was the easiest to do. The keyhole was also one of the most fun projects out of the three.  I learned how to draw textures.
    Keyhole and watercolor painting
    The keyhole project and the watercolor painting are similar because they both allowed us to draw our own scenes. The difference is that the keyhole project was colored with colored pencils, whereas the watercolor painting was colored with paint.
    Keyhole project
    My favorite project was the keyhole project because it allowed me a lot of creative freedom.  It was fun to do. I learned how to draw textures. The animal eye and the keyhole project were similar because they both dealt with textures. They were different because the animal eye was done with oil pastels and the keyhole was done with pens and colored pencils.
    Key Hole
    The key Hole project was my favorite. The keyHole project was my favorite because I got to create whatever I wanted in the center of my keyhole. I liked this project because I liked the techniques that I got to use in the sky.  I also liked it because I got to take my time and make it just how I wanted and there were no requirements. These are the reasons why the key Hole was my favorite project.
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