Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Scratch Board Art

5x7" Scratch board Art: "Stately" with acrylic ink (SOLD); "Visionary";
"Rooted in Possibility" with acrylic ink (SOLD); "Breaking Open"

Scratch board is an amazing product from Ampersand, available at many art supplies stores. I get mine locally at Hobby Lobby when they are in stock, or order them online at Dick Blick or Daniel Smith. Ampersand also has a nice website, detailing some of their paintable surface products. http://www.ampersand.com

It is a clay coated Masonite board covered with a thin layer of black India ink. The white clay is revealed with even the slightest scratching on the surface. Kits with a variety of tools and inks are also available, but my tool of choice is a carpenter's awl shaped like a pencil. (Which surprisingly and accidentally made it through airport security in my purse one time). It has a nice weight and fits into my hand well. I found it at the hardware store. The ones with the fat bulb like tops are difficult for me to hold, as they are unevenly weighted.

Once you decide on a design, it is drawn onto the board with white colored pencil or regular pencil, or if feeling adventurous -- just start scratching without a guide. Graphite paper can also be used to transfer the image. It is very forgiving, especially if you use a light touch and don't dig too far down into the clay material. 

For the coloring, I purchased the FW Acrylic Inks at Daniel Smith. He sells sets with various colors. The iridescent colors are very nice and add that glittery touch without being too overbearing and shiny. Just a light coating is perfect, and most of the color goes where the black has been scratched away. Sometimes many layers of scratch followed by ink are necessary to achieve the look. Final coating is with an acrylic varnish. I like to mix the gloss and matte together to create a satin like shine. 

Hope you enjoy these fun little images. Photographing them can be challenging, but I will post a few more that I did using watercolor and gouache.

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