View Full Version : Oak Trees on Claybord - FINISHED

01-18-2015, 11:00 PM
I have done a field in scratchboard before, but this is the first time I have attempted trees at this size like this. I will have to see how it goes. I am using acrylic inks and acrylic paint on Clayboard. I started by blocking in the tree shapes with a sea sponge and painting the trunks with acrylic ink. Below is a detail of the trees. The full piece is 16"x20".

01-18-2015, 11:06 PM
The foothills of California are covered with oak trees and the grass is gold most of the year. To get the gold color of the hill, I first painted the shadows fairly darkly on the hill using acrylic ink. Then I filled in the lighter areas of the hill with a medium color.

01-18-2015, 11:30 PM
In this image, I have cleaned up the edges and created sky holes in the trees with a scalpel. I have also started the initial scratching of the grass using a wire brush. It will take a lot more scratching to keep it interesting. I thought I would put in more sky holes in the trees than I thought I would ultimately want, because I expect to mess them up when I airbrush the sky. But I am liking the lacey effect in the trees. So I hope I don't mess it up too much. I'm having a bit of a crisis of confidence here. This may not have been the best way to do this. If I ruin it, I'll let you know what went wrong.

01-19-2015, 01:01 AM
I like where this is going! Thanks for sharing your process.

01-19-2015, 01:40 AM
Looking awesome so far! Can't wait to see where this one goes. :)

01-19-2015, 06:59 AM
Great process. I find it interesting that you left the sky for last. Do you mask off areas?

01-19-2015, 08:50 AM
This is fascinating to watch, Linda. It's hard to imagine it getting 'messed up'. It looks great so far.

01-19-2015, 08:56 AM
I haven't tried just clayboard yet, interesting proces, I agree, thanks for sharing your process!


01-19-2015, 09:18 AM
Two thumbs up..... Big thumbs. Use the clay, to play.

01-19-2015, 09:48 AM
Looking great. Love the trees. I haven't tried just clayboard yet either. Must do so soon.

01-19-2015, 01:11 PM
Thanks, everyone, for the supportive comments. I really appreciate them.
Ginger, I spent a couple weeks thinking about this piece before I started it. I knew I wanted to airbrush the sky, because it is the only way I have been able to apply paint smoothly on the Clayboard surface. And I like the contrast of smooth areas with the highly textured, scratched areas. I also really enjoy scratching out the negative areas in the tree branches to create the sky holes. So I figured my main problem would be getting the look of the smooth sky color through the scratched openings in the trees. My plan was to get the trees to a semi-finished state and then block them out with liquid frisket before I airbrush the sky. I hope to keep the composition of this piece really simple. However, if I mess up the airbrushed sky, I will just add more trees or branches over the mistakes. That sounds more optimistic than I feel. If I mess up a lot, you won't see the trees for the forest. Sorry for this long explanation.

01-19-2015, 01:54 PM
I think the liquid frisket is the long way and high risk of lifting the art below it. Besides taking a long time to apply the mask cleanly around all the open areas. Another approach, might be..... Lay a piece of tracing paper over the Clayboard and trace a clean THIN (01 Micron or similar ) I like to hold the paper down by working over a metal surface and using magnets ( for this step and another ,later) to hold the tracing paper SECURLY in place. Carefully trace the edges AND holes in the trees. From this we can make a cheap mask. Using spray mount. Spray adhesive. Give a cheap piece of posterboard, the cheap thin stuff is fine., a quick coating and lay the transfer paper with the outline on it, flat and smooth. Trim Mose of what you want you to take away, in this case, the sky, with scissors (Lorna, rounded end scissors only for you )Go to a light table, piece of glass or a cutting surface and ExActo to your line. This should create a thin but somewhat stiff mask that can be held down with the magnets. If your drawing table is not metal based..... A cookie sheet would sufice. This mask should treat you well, it's not stuck to the art. You can remove and reuse it at any stage.

01-19-2015, 07:42 PM
Thanks, Rodman, I have used just tracing paper to cover large areas in the past. I don't usually care about the edges much because I often rework them. I'm impressed to learn that magnets will work through the Clayboard. I also like your idea of being able to reuse the mask. For this piece, I will lay paper over the grass hill where it doesn't matter if it lays perfectly. But because I have now scratched in so many holes in my trees, I'm going to stick with painting the frisket over just the trees. Since I'm painting with acrylic, the frisket won't affect the paint I have already laid down. And for me, just personally, it will be easier to paint the frisket around the holes than to cut each one out. I like the mask you describe though and may give it a try on another piece.

Harry Seymour
01-20-2015, 07:19 AM
Looking good.

01-27-2015, 09:02 PM
Thanks for your comment, Harry.
I finally airbrushed the sky. I first painted liquid frisket over the trees (which took a little under half an hour, but it allowed me to airbrush color into the small sky holes). I didn't use frisket on the hill, I just laid tracing paper over it. I have also completed the first layer of scratching the grass into the hill. I still need to add more interest to the grass and reshape the shadows on the hill. I welcome any feedback.

01-28-2015, 02:35 AM
Genius. What wonderful colours. If this isn't finished, the I can't wait to see more

01-28-2015, 11:10 PM
Thanks, Jenny. I plan to put some time in on this over the weekend. I can't wait to see if it works out either. :)

01-29-2015, 02:45 AM
It is beautiful. Reminds me of the hills in Dublin, CA.

01-29-2015, 07:37 AM
I am in love with the process and the richness you achieve. Of course your talent is rocking it!

01-30-2015, 10:11 AM
Thank you Linda for describing the process. I often don't know where to begin. I love the sky colors. It looks terrific!:clap:

01-31-2015, 12:38 PM
Thank you, donavansbrain :), Ginger, and jeniep, for your generous comments. I really appreciate them.

02-06-2015, 12:47 PM
This image just shows more scratching. I am trying to reshape and refine my shadows on the hill and add some scratching details in the trees. Because I have not put any washes of color over the scratches, the whole piece appears a bit washed out. Any feedback is welcome.

02-06-2015, 03:55 PM
My feedback... More, please! :D

02-08-2015, 04:16 PM
Stunning work; I love it and love hearing your procedure.

02-09-2015, 10:22 PM
Thanks much, Ginger and Lynn. I really appreciate your feedback. :)

02-10-2015, 12:53 AM
Looking great! I have no feedback, just keep going . . .

02-17-2015, 07:19 PM
Sorry it took me so long to post the final image of this piece. I added the suggestion of clouds using 0000 steel wool. I hope it doesn't look too dark on screen.

02-17-2015, 08:55 PM
Very nice! Really enjoy your works.

02-17-2015, 09:02 PM
Gorgeous finish! Stunning piece you have here. :)

02-17-2015, 11:51 PM
Thanks much, Cathy and Shalese. I appreciate your feedback.

02-18-2015, 01:36 AM
Great finish, Linda, and I love the colors! Thanks for sharing the process.

02-18-2015, 08:16 AM
Wonderful... you achieve such a rich feeling. Fascinating process using scratch work and color.

02-18-2015, 03:50 PM
This is serene and peaceful. Really a wonderful work of art. Great work, Linda!

02-19-2015, 09:18 AM
Thank you, Ann, Ginger, and Jenna! I really appreciate your comments.

02-20-2015, 06:11 AM
I have to agree with everyone else. This is beautiful. I really love the color of the light on the tree. Sunrise or sunset with the dark glow. And the colors on the hill are great too.

02-21-2015, 03:08 PM
Thanks, Sande! I appreciate it.

03-04-2015, 04:23 PM
LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Only just now getting to see this! I grew up in Northern California. Would love to try a piece like this someday. I have bunches of ref photos from there. Again, bravo...Great piece!!!


03-04-2015, 06:34 PM
Thank you, Sean! I'm glad you like it. I hope you get a chance to use those reference photos. :)

03-15-2015, 03:27 PM
Wowzers...such a wonderful piece. I can't do claybord ever, and believe me I've tried...lol

03-16-2015, 12:09 PM

Karin McKee
03-16-2015, 06:49 PM
Wow, the end result is fantastic! Airbrushing is very soft & beautiful.

03-18-2015, 12:23 AM
Thanks much, Sue, Jon, and Karin!