A 30-second online art project:

Peter Burr, Sunshine Monument

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Scratch it Out

Charles Henry Alston painted The Family in bold blocks of color and lines that he made by scraping the surface of the paint with a palette knife—a tool with a blunt steel blade that artists often use for mixing or applying paint. 

Learn about Alston’s painting, The Family, and scratch out your own family portrait on a colorful scratchboard. 


  • Thick paper or card stock
  • Crayons or oil pastels
  • Dish soap
  • Black tempera paint
  • Large paint brush 
  • Small container
  • Something pointy (a chopstick, paperclip, or thin stick)