Skip to Content

Join The KinderArt Club, for Premium Art Lesson Plans.

Impasto Painting

Impasto Painting
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In this lesson, students learn about texture as they make impasto paintings.

By Lillian Arreola [Lillian is an art educator at Instituto Anglo Británico at Monterrey, N.L. México]


  • Students will learn about texture as they experiment and apply it on their artwork.
  • They will learn about line, design, shape and the differences between two and three dimensional art.
  • Students will learn about impasto painting.


image, feeling, emotion, idea, expression, color, texture, three dimensional, two dimensional, line, imagine, create, happy, sad, angry, tempera, experience, design, impasto, easel.

* impasto: \Im*pas”to\, n. This refers to a thick and textured application of paint, (usually oil but sometimes acrylic) where the brush strokes are very visible. The paint is not smooth, but rather rough and tactile.

What You Need:

  • Toilet paper
  • White Glue
  • Heavy Paper (at least 12″ x 12″)
  • Tempera Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pencils
  • A container for mixing
  • Sticks
  • Glue gun (with adult assistance)

What You Do:

  1. Talk about design. To design something is to plan it out. Review the elements of design.
  2. Explain what impasto means (see above) and talk about some of the artists who used this technique in their artwork (ie: Vincent van Gogh)
  3. Encourage students to look through books or magazines to find inspiration for subject matter. For first attempts, the best rule of thumb is to keep the image simple. Promote the idea of creating an image based on an emotion — happy, sad, excited, surprised, etc.
  4. To prepare the “impasto”, students tear toilet paper into small pieces and mix it in a bowl with white glue. You may have to experiment with quantities to see how much glue and paper you need to create a gooey mixture.
  5. Let the students apply the impasto on their heavy paper and help them to determine which parts will be three dimensional and which ones will be flat.
  6. Let the pieces dry for one or two days.
  7. When dry, the works of art can be painted with tempera paint. Encourage the students to experiment with wild color combinations. Reinforce the idea that there no limits to what they can do.
  8. When dry, you can paste three sticks onto the pieces with a glue gun to simulate an easel as shown in the pictures.
  9. For 5th and 6th graders you can complete this activity with an evaluation rubric where they can aesthetically evaluate their artwork based on the following: emotion expressed, content, technique, etc.

impasto painting impasto painting

impasto painting impasto painting

More Information:

Van gogh Museum

Join Our Club

You are currently on the site which features lots of free art activity ideas for kids (I hope you are enjoying them!) HOWEVER, if you are looking for more detailed art lesson plans, drawing lessons, printables, sketchbook starters (and more) provided monthly, you will LOVE The KinderArt Club - a membership portal designed for parents, homeschoolers, classroom art teachers and studio instructors.

Inside the club you will find hundreds of printable PDF art lessons designed to work in small or large group settings, with a range of ages (from 5 to 12 years).

Get creative teaching kids at home, instructing students in a classroom, leading workshops in a studio, or sharing online, as you explore artists, art periods, science, nature, history, cultures and themes, with creativity and flexibility in mind.

Join us today at:

Sign up for our Newsletter