Bonseki Salt Art

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In this activity learners will be creating art using a traditional Japanese art style. Traditionally, this art style depicts landscapes and use sand and rocks to create lines and shapes to make a picture. Learners will be using salt, black paper, and a texturing utensil (such as a brush, feather, comb, fork etc.) to create the landscape of there choosing. This activity includes a full-length activity guide with a brief history, detailed instructions, and adaptations to help spruce up the finished creation!

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Table Salt
  • Texturing Materials (Paintbrushes, forks, feathers, comb, etc.)
  • An image of nature to use as a reference (from a book, from the internet, from your surroundings...)
  • Black or dark-colored paper/ dark-colored flat surface
  • Small Rocks (Optional)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Gathering Data
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Nature and Environment


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Life and Science at Home


  • All rights reserved, Museum of Life and Science, 2021