Lazy Day Crafts: Sgrafitto

Lazy Day Crafts: Sgrafitto


Sgrafitto is an etching technique that uses a pointed tool to scratch through a covered surface to show the art work beneath it.


Wax crayons (Do not use black)

India ink or back poster paint

Pointed tool for etching such as a knitting needle or a toothpick

Cardboard or mat board



  1. Draw and color various abstract shapes on the cardboard or mat board. Make sure to use a heavy hand and leave a thick layer of wax crayon.
  2. Paint the cardboard or mat board with India ink or black poster paint. Allow the surface to dry completely. If the wax crayons show through, you need a second coat of paint or ink. Allow this coat to dry.
  3. Select the pointed tool you will use. You can experiment with different tools on a scrap of cardboard and then decide which one is best for your work of art.
  4. Have an image or design in mind or draw one on sketch paper first. Etch the design directly on the painted cardboard or mat board using various strokes: long, short, or circular going in various directions: horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Etch deeply enough to penetrate the first layer of ink or poster paint.
  5. Frame the Sgrafitto and don’t forget to etch your name in the lower right-hand corner.



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About marion

I first wrote and sketched as a child growing up in Pittsburgh, PA and Brooklyn, New York. I received her first recognition for my creativity when I won the New York City Schools Art Award and participated in my first art exhibit in downtown Manhattan. I was fourteen and a half when I moved to Cyprus with my family. I experienced culture shock but I continued to write about and sketch the sights and sounds of another country and many other things. I am a creative person. I write children's and Young Adult fiction and nonfiction. I write historical and Coming of Age Young Adult novels. I also write picture books and art books for elementary school children. I am in the process of writing a fictionalized biography of a member of the Belgian Resistance who also fought for the US Army during World War II. I worked as a freelance editor for two local companies: College Prowler and SterlingHouse Publisher. I also worked as an assistant literary agent for Lee Shore Agency. I was attending Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction Program at the time and the experience was invaluable. My course work toward my Master of Arts degree in turn helped me at work. As an assistant literary agent, I reviewed all incoming manuscripts, cultivated a relationship with the writers we contracted and marketed our books to book publishers for sale. I “freelanced” my editing skills which included working with the manuscript acquisitions editor, selecting book covers with the art department, writing the book jacket blurb, reading film scripts and executing general office duties as assigned. Oh, by the way, I edited books, too. I even utilized Adobe InDesign for the editing that I did for College Prowler. I’ve also reviewed published books and conducted research. I have published nonfiction articles and books online and in print. As an artist, I have exhibited my mixed media drawings and collages nationally and regionally and have worked as a freelance designer and calligrapher. I have a BA in Studio Arts from the University of Pittsburgh and a MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

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