Scratchboard is typically done in black scratched to reveal white underneath. There is also clayboard that begins as a creamy white color.
Clayboard is a smooth, clay-coated hardboard panel. To make it into scratchboard, the clayboard goes through the additional spraying of a coat of India Ink. Its’ surface is perfect for “scratching away” layers of the ink with various tools like knife blades, fiberglass brushes, sand paper and more. Multiple layers of inks and washes gives more depth to the project. Clay board can also be used in the same manner but the colors are added to a clay base and then scratched back as the design requires. It’s an intriguing process of subtracting and adding back. I love it!
Scratchboard art is fun for those who like to work in a reductive and additive process. There are many approaches to achieving the end product. For the most part, I take a photo and use both color and black and white versions for referral. A template is made and then transferred on to the board. After that, it’s scratching time!
Pictured at left is “A Purrfect Moment” and some of the steps taken to create it.
I am pleased to be among the many talented artists and was awarded the honor of becoming a 2015 Master Member of ISSA (International Society of Scratchboard Artists). Please check out their site for more information: