Grade 6 – Musician Scraperboard

Kids love scraper boards…Actually, even I as a grown up love drawing on a scraper board! It’s like magic. You scratch onto a black surface using a toothpick and beautiful colours appear! And how perfectly this medium which is so instantaneous matches the focus we had which was music! Music is alive only in its own moment and in the next it changes. It also is quite free, allowing learners to make mistakes on their scraper boards and then make it part of the rhythm of their artwork.

The class began with a talk over how artists have been doing artworks of musicians for generations and how rhythm can be shown through an artwork. We then watched a few inspirational videos of some street musicians in action.

Making scraper boards that work properly is a little more difficult. I have tried a few recipes but am yet to find the perfect one. (if you have any ideas for other ones I can try, please let me know!) We first used oil pastels to fill our piece of paper with a variety of colours. The trick is to make sure that every part of the paper is covered!

We then took a mix of black tempera paint and dish-washing liquid and painted over out pages.

I handed out a few reference images for the learners to use for inspiration. These pages featured instruments and passionate musicians at work. Music is a subject in each grade in our school and the learners could also use the musical notes that they knew as well. The learners then made a sketch of what they would do for their final on a piece of newsprint paper.

Lastly we got to the scraping! When finished, the learners were asked to make a border for their artwork and then decorate this using black fine-liner. One or two of the learners used colourful markers for the border as well and this actually turned out well as well!


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