Family Fresco


Paint a family picture—or any design—in the style of famous painters such as Michelangelo! Texture and glow add to their uniqueness!


1. Fresco paintings are made by quickly applying a thin layer of wet plaster to walls. The paint—tempera or watercolors—becomes part of the plaster. Look at pictures such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel or Leonardo da Vinci’s "The Last Supper." Find out how they created these masterpieces. Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel while lying on his back!

2. Decide what your subject will be. How about a family picnic? Maybe a still life? Or an abstract design? Choose a durable, interesting surface, such as heavy cardboard, plywood, or a foam tray. Draw your idea on the surface with a Crayola Colored Pencil.

3. Spread newspaper over your painting area. Cover your picture surface with a thick coat of Crayola Texture It! Tempera Mixing Medium using a large flat brush. Air-dry it for about 30 minutes.

4. Moisten your Crayola Watercolors with a drop of water on each pan. Fill your brush with color and begin to paint. The colors will be absorbed into the Texture It! as you work. Paint with long smooth strokes or dab colors into the medium. Rinse your brush after each color change. If you change your mind about a color, just blot with paper towel and add a new layer of Texture It! to that area. Air-dry your masterpiece overnight.

5. Add sparkle with a coat of Crayola Glitter It! Tempera Mixing Medium. Or paint on a pearlized finish with Pearl It! Mixing Medium. Both media add a beautiful glow to your fresco. Air-dry your painting. Why not frame it before you display it---or give it as a memorable gift?

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.


  • Suggest that children consider a family picture, pet photo, or favorite travel scene as a basis for their painting.
  • Try this technique with tempera paints.
  • Look at other great works by Michelangelo and da Vinci, such as the Mona Lisa. Discuss the size differences of their paintings. Look at pictures of some of Michelangelo’s sculptures. Discuss techniques used to create this art.
  • Find out more about different media used for paintings: oil, tempera, watercolor. Discuss what media different artists used and the effects they achieved with them.
  • Assessment: Note whether children successfully follow all steps in the painting process to complete their fresco.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Classic Colored Pencils
  • Washable Watercolors
  • Arts & Crafts Brushes
  • Tempera Mixing Mediums
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • paper towels
  • recycled cardboard
  • container(s) of water



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6


  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students research information about frescos painted by famous artists.

  • Students identify a suitable subject and durable surface for their artwork.

  • Students recreate a textured painting in a fresco style that is suitable for framing and/or a gift.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards