This is a lovely project for Valentines Day that combines two fun techniques – embossed foil and oil pastel ‘sgraffito’ (Italian: scratched) – to create decorative hearts.
The children (aged 4 – 6) loved working with embossing foil to make robots last year (see my post: Embossed Foil Robots), and I came up with this project so they could enjoy the technique all over again!
Everyone started by making sketches to work out the design for their heart – some children tried out several patterns before deciding which one to use.
Then each child was given a small square of embossing foil and a ballpoint pen with which to draw/impress their design. The children worked with their foil on top of a newspaper – a soft surface that allows the pen to make a deep impression in the metallic surface.
When they had finished their embossed designs, I gave each child a slightly larger square of paper with a frame marked in pencil. They selected two oil pastel colours – one light and one dark – and applied the lighter colour first before going over the top with the darker colour. Then they turned their pens around and scratched decoration into the surface with the pen lid, revealing the lighter colour beneath. This technique is sometimes called ‘sgraffito’.
I helped each child use double-sided tape to fix their foil heart into the centre of its sgraffito frame, creating a beautiful decorative artwork to be given to someone special. Lucky them!
Please click on an image below to enlarge it and/or scroll through a gallery of the children’s embossed hearts…
For another sgraffito project using oil pastels, please click below: