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Cave Art on Ceramic Stones

Cave Art on Ceramic Stones
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Students will create cave art in the style of the Lascaux Caves in France.

By Anne Marie Tracey [Anne Marie is a Lower School Art Teacher from Dartmouth, MA.]


To familiarize students with Prehistoric art, the reasons for it, the subject matter depicted, style and colors used. This project is integrated with a second grade study of Prehistoric people and their environment

What You Need:

  • Oil Pastels
  • White ceramic clay, or air dry clay
  • Acrylic paint
  • Sand
  • Sketch paper
  • Images from Lascaux caves or other prehistoric art examples (see resources below)

What You Do

Day #1

I show the children the video, “Lascaux Revisited” It is a little above their understanding in some parts, but the images are great, and they love that the caves were discovered by kids! After viewing, we talk about what we saw, the reasons for the images, the types of creatures and images we saw. We also discuss why these images would have been important to the people who created them.

The children create a sketch using pencil and oil pastels. The subject matter, style and colors should be related to those seen on video and on example images. (Animals mostly, blacks, browns, tans, white, etc.)

Day #2

Once the students have completed their sketch, they are ready to make the “stone.” To simulate a stone wall texture, students roll clay out into a random shape, not perfectly round, or square. The key is to make the clay look like real stones. Students then rub sand into the surface of their clay slab, creating a texture. The clay is fired before the next class.

Day #3

The clay needs to be painted to resemble real stone. I give my students sponges and white and black acrylic paint. They sponge the two colors on the clay to create a unique colored surface. Some are darker, others end up lighter, each one is unique.

Day #4

Once the paint is dry, the students re-draw the image they sketched on the surface of their clay “stone” with oil pastels in accurate colors – no purples, pinks or brights. Students should be encouraged to take their time and work carefully because the oil pastel cannot be removed from the clay. We talk about how it is different to draw on such a strange surface. I usually display the finished pieces along with related work from their history/social studies classrooms.

Note: If you don’t have access to clay, this project can be done on sandpaper. Have students cut odd shapes out of sandpaper to resemble stones and complete drawings on surface.


The Cave of Lascaux
Images and explanations.

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