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Impasto Presto!

Ever try impasto? Famous artists including Rembrandt and van Gogh used this 3-D technique! Create bold paintings with Crayola Texture It! Mixing Medium.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Invite students to find out about artists who used a technique called impasto—thick, textured paint with visible brush strokes—to create 3-D effects. How did they make textured paint? Learn more about some of their famous paintings done in this style.
    2. This is a quick, contemporary way to achieve much the same effect! To create the impasto mixture, tear soft paper such as facial tissue or tissue paper into small pieces. In a bowl, students use a craft stick to stir Crayola School Glue with the paper.
    3. Students cover their work areas with recycled newspaper. Spread the impasto mixture on watercolor paper with a craft stick or other tool. Experiment with different amounts and styles of application. Air-dry work on a flat surface for at least a day.
    4. Students combine Crayola Premier™ Tempera Paints with the Texture It! Mixing Medium. Bold color combinations look great on impasto! Prepare a variety of different colors and combinations to get dramatic effects. Paint impasto surfaces. Air-dry paintings overnight.
    5. In small groups, ask students to share their work and discuss how they each incorporated learning about Impasto techniques into their original artwork.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Students use online resources to find and re-word a definition for impasto painting. Students work in teams to discuss techniques to achieve impasto art. If time permits, allow students to work collaboratively to experiment in how to perform the impasto technique. Students write a list of steps for reference. Post these steps in the classroom.

    Many artists make use of the impasto technique in their work. Students select an artist to investigate in-depth. Possibilities include Vincent van Gogh, Willem de Kooning, Nicolas de Stael, Frank Auerbach, Donald Teskey, etc. Students prepare electronic presentations for sharing their organized research with classmates.

    Provide students with the opportunity to experiment with different impasto ingredients. What else might they use to add to the glue to create texture? How will this alter your art?


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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