Be Curious - Taking Rubbings


Download 1

Taking Rubbings instruction sheet

Download 2

Taking Rubbings blank template

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Taking Rubbings - Samples

"I didn't know what to think about the painting (from the 'Art Appreciation' activity) when I first saw it. But hearing the expert, listening to others and trying to come up with my own thoughts about it has given me the confidence to have my own opinions."

Ever wondered how the world might look from the perspective of an ant? How would we perceive the world if we had to rely on our sense of touch? This exercise will help you see the world with fresh eyes and appreciate details you’ve never noticed before.
Create unique papers to use in your artwork.

Wellbeing benefits:

Be resourceful
Notice surroundings

Examples of how this activity can help me:

I want to appreciate and be more aware of my surroundings.


Allow time to experiment. It can be hard to judge what textures will make good rubbings. Some are better than others, and not every rubbing will work perfectly the first time around - so do be patient.

Who can I do this activity with?

On my own or with others.

Where can I do this activity?

Indoors and out. We recommend taking this outdoors.

How often can I do this activity?

Do this activity often. This is a great activity to use to create unique collage papers for other creative activities.

What do I need?

  • An HB pencil, sharpened to a very sharp point
  • A sharpener
  • A4 paper
  • Masking tape or sellotape
  • Rubbings template - optional

Did you know?

Doing creative activity can help us concentrate more easily.  Focusing on a creative task helps us to focus on positive thoughts and enables us to stay in the present moment. Using our sense of touch we learn about the world around us.  Our ability to feel physical things comes from the bottom layer of skin on our bodies, called the  ‘dermis.’ The dermis is filled with lots of tiny nerve endings, which give us information about the things that we touch. These nerve endings carry the information to our spinal cord, which sends messages to our brain.  There are about 100 touch receptors in each of our fingertips. Our sense of touch enables us to be aware of the size, form, shape and textural qualities of material objects; whether they’re hard, rough etc; and of other physical characteristics by which we distinguish one material object from another.

"This was a great activity outdoors. I made some great papers which I plan to use in a collage activity."

Workshop participant

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