Impasto art lesson for kids
Impasto painting is the technique of laying paint onto the canvas so thickly that you can see the brush strokes.  It is a technique that leaves a lot of texture.  Impasto is actually an Italian word meaning paste.  Usually impasto is done with oil or acrylic paints.  Watercolors and tempera are too thin to impasto with, unless you add a thickening medium.  You can buy mediums at an art store, but you can also create the same effect with glue and toilet paper.  
Here’s how.
  • First, tear up your toilet paper into small pieces and drop into your foil lined bowl (or just a plain old bowl reserved only for painting and other crafts).
  • Second add a lot of white glue until you get a pasty mixture.  
  •  Next, slop the mixture onto your canvas. We used watercolor paper and it worked fine.  I don’t recommend regular paper however.
  •  Let dry at least overnight.  We had to wait two days.
  • Paint over the dry paste with tempera paint. 
  •  Admire the textured effect.
Some impasto artists include Vincent van Gogh
van-gogh-vase-with-twelve-sunflowers
and also Rembrandt.
image from wikipedia
The idea for this project came from here, but they recommended this lesson for grades 4 and up.  I did this with an almost 2 year old and almost 4 year old.  Just remind yourself it is the process, not the product that counts! 
Written by Julie Cerdas
I'm a stay-at-home Catholic mom who loves playing with and teaching my two children.