Sea Turtle Scratch Art

The Hawksbill Turtle gets its name from its beak-like mouth. It is considered a critically endangered species because of building developments on the coasts, being tangled in abandoned fishing nets, marine debris, pollution, and even being caught for meat.

Did you know that there are 17 turtle nesting sites in the UAE?

This species of turtles are the only sea turtles that lay their eggs in the UAE, in protected marine areas such as the Marawah Marine Biosphere Reserve (MMBR). The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi manages these reserves to ensure the protection and flourishment of the turtles and other species.

Photo of Hawksbill Turtle from The National

In this project, you will create your own scratch art surface to draw your own turtle. 

  1. Use the oil pastels in your kit to color on the grey colored pastel paper. Make sure to use bright colors and cover the entire paper.
  2. Paint the oil pastel colors on the pastel paper with black gouache paint. Make sure that you keep the paint thick and do not dilute too much.
  3. Allow the gouache paint to dry.
  4. You can use the template of the turtle (printed on tracing paper) or draw your own turtle on the dried gouache, using a pencil.
  5. Use the wooden skewer and experiment with other blunt objects to scratch the surface of the dried black gouache paint. You will see the oil pastel colors that you used through the scratches.

Materials you will use from this box:

  • Pastel Paper grey color
  • Oil Pastel set
  • Black Gouache Paint
  • Flat brush
  • Wooden Skewer
  • Pencil
  • Sharpener
  • A4 Size Template for Turtle on Tracing Paper

You will need to bring your own:

  • Table cover (for protection)
  • Blunt objects that you can use to scratch your drawing ie. coin, paper clip


Published by Farah Nasrawi

A multi-hyphenate designer, an artist, a teacher