Slick Scratch

Slick Scratch lesson plan

Try this slick technique to create wild lines and reveal hidden colors! Explore the art of Albrecht Dürer and use lines and shapes to etch your favorite animal.

  • 1.

    Albrecht Dürer is widely known as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance largely due to the success of his etchings. Look carefully at Dürer’s print called "Rhinoceros." How does he use lines in an interesting way to create this drawing? What shapes do you see? Why do some line overlap others?

  • 2.

    Cover a sheet of white paper entirely with large areas of bright colors using Crayola Slick Stix™. Slick Stix contain pigments that may stain clothing, fabrics and other household surfaces. Wear a smock to protect clothing and cover your work surface with newspaper. Be sure to color right to the edge of the paper. With a black Slick Stix, conceal the areas of color completely.

  • 3.

    Choose an animal to etch onto your paper. Use Dürer’s "Rhinocerous" for inspiration! What kind of lines can you etch to make your animal more interesting? What shapes will create exciting patterns and textures in your drawing?

  • 4.

    Use a solid, somewhat pointy object to etch into the black layer on your paper and reveal the colors underneath. Try several objects, like a paintbrush handle, toothpick, or even a comb, to create a variety of lines and thicknesses. Fill your drawing with lots of shapes and patterns to expose the bright colors!


  • Students explore the work of artist Albrecht Dürer, and reproduce his etching technique in their artwork.
  • Students use a variety of tools to create unique and interesting lines.
  • Students apply decision-making skills by choosing the subjects of their etchings.


  • Albrecht Dürer is one of the first artists known to paint self-portraits. Challenge older and advanced students to research facial proportions and create a self-portrait etching!
  • Use modeling tools to etch your drawing into a flatten piece of Crayola Model Magic®. Roll a thin layer of paint onto the etching, flip, and press onto a sheet of paper to create a print! Make several prints and experiment with different colors!
  • Create a class exhibit to display student etchings. Discuss each student’s use of the etching technique to create a variety of interesting lines and shapes!