EXPLORING TEXTURE – Rubbing Plates, Crayon Resist

Students create rubbing plates with Crayola Washable Glue and use them with crayons and paint to explore real and simulated texture.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 8


Art Techniques
Language Arts


crayon resist repetition rubbing plate simulated texture texture


Crayola Washable No-Run Glue Crayola Regular Crayons - Not Washable Crayola Watercolour Paints Crayola Paint Brushes Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Water Containers Cardstock or Bristol Board Paper - 8 cm x 15 cm (3" x 6") - 3 per student Paper Towels

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EXPLORING TEXTURE – Rubbing Plates, Crayon Resist - Step One

Step One

  1. Make 3 different texture cards.
  2. Draw different patterns on each of the pieces of Bristol board with glue.
EXPLORING TEXTURE – Rubbing Plates, Crayon Resist - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Use the texture cards as rubbing plates
  2. Place a piece of paper on top of the rubbing plate and colour over it with a crayon.
  3. This is called making a rubbing.
  4. See what happens when you place the paper on top of the plate in a different direction and use a different coloured crayon to make the rubbing.
EXPLORING TEXTURE – Rubbing Plates, Crayon Resist - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Once you are satisfied with the rubbing paint over it with watercolour paint.
EXPLORING TEXTURE – Rubbing Plates, Crayon Resist - Step Four

Step Four

  1. The paint and crayon won't mix.
  2. Notice how the paint sits on top of the wax crayon creating interesting textures.
EXPLORING TEXTURE – Rubbing Plates, Crayon Resist - Step Five

Step Five

  1. When the paint dries you can polish the card by lightly rubbing it with a tissue.
  2. The card now looks as if it has 3-dimensional textures even though it is flat.
  3. This is called simulated texture.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create 3 different rubbing plates using glue;
  • explore a variety of ways to use colour to create simulated texture;
  • build on their own and others’ discoveries to generate new ideas;
  • explain their process;
  • express opinions about the artworks.


Have students:

  • create mixed media projects using the papers they have created using lesson plans such as Setting the Scene and My Favourite Things found on this website;
  • share their work with others explaining their process;
  • continue to experiment with ways to create the illusion of texture using a variety of materials and ideas;
  • add their exerimental papers to a class storage centre for use by everyone.


  1. Place students in groups so they can share materials.
  2. Gather plastic placemats one for each student.
  3. Precut enough cardstock for each student to have 3 pieces - 8 cm x 15 cm (3" x 6").
  4. Make a sample rubbing plate. 
  5. Gather a variety of textured materials that can be used to make rubbings.
  6. You may want to get the book, Crayon Rubbings, by The Editors of Klutz. 
  7. Download and display the Texture Poster available on this website.
  8. Prepare a spot for plates to dry for about 3 hours.


  1. Introduce the idea of making rubbings to students.
  2. Demonstrate how images can be created using crayons and allow students to make a few on a chart paper using the textured materials.
    - place a Toonie under a piece of paper
    - colour on top of the paper with a crayon
    - use different amounts of pressure
  3. Discuss the element of texture and the idea of real and simulated textures.
  4. Discuss the element of line and characteristics of lines, for example, direction, width, and length.
  5. Explain that today's lesson is a workshop to explore how to make a variety of textures.
    - It will take two sessions to complete, one to make the texture cards, and another to use them. 
    - It's for experimenting and trying out ideas to see what happens. 
  6. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create 3 different rubbing plates using glue.
  2. Explore a variety of ways to use colour to create simulated texture.
  3. Build on your own and others’ discoveries to generate new ideas.
  4. Explain your process.
  5. Express opinions about the artworks.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - used my own ideas to make my rubbing plates
    - used different ways to combine crayon colours
    - used different ways to combine paint over the crayon
    - explained how I made my rubbings
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in the lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students into small groups. 
  2. Ask them to: 
    - Compare their work and describe to each other what they did to get certain effects.
    - Consider how doing these experiments might help them if they were creating another type of artwork.
    - Talk about what they learned from each other.
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask them to tell how they felt about doing this activity.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their experiments – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the paper, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Download - Texture_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students answer the following questions in their sketchbook/journals to reflect on what they have learned:
    - What did you learn about texture by doing these experiments?
    - What surprised you?
    - How does experimenting with materials help you make your own artworks?