View Full Version : 1st Post - scratchboard wip

03-11-2005, 11:55 AM
Hello everyone!

This is my first post here in this forum. I see such wonderful work here.
I have been chatting with Bob (Orca) and he has given some great advise and tips regarding scratchboard.
I told him I would post it here and get yall's input and suggestions.
I have only been working on this for a total of about 6 hours so far.
As you can see I tend to jump around alot and started on the water.
AGH! Can anyone give some advise on how to get it smooth?
So far I have used Bob's straightpin advise and used the fiberglass tool.
if is a 9x12 ampersand clayboard black.
Below is the ref picture I used, the WIP and a close up of the head.
Sorry for the terrible photos. Not quite sure the best way to get a pic of them yet
Any help yall can give would be great!

Mary Woodul
03-11-2005, 01:58 PM
Hi Kay! Welcome to Mixed Media. Your work looks very nice to me. I don't know anything about scratchboard and have never seen any here in Mexico, but I am very intrigued by it. I'm sure Penny will see this and she will give you the best input and advice for this kind of work.

I can only adimire it and hope you will keep us updated and continue posting. :D

03-11-2005, 06:34 PM
This is looking great so far. You went to the right person for advice. Bob is the best when it comes to this. Mary, thanks for the vote of confidence but my primary reason for using claybord is it's a great surface to airbrush. I do little with it other than occasional scratching. For scratching I use a metal scribe and exacto blade. Sandblasting with a air eraser works very well for a smooth texture but it's a major investment for occassional useage. Erasers work the best for smooth transitions back to the white. Different erasers have a different bite to them and each will lend themselves to a new effect. Sometimes the black doesn't want to erase off so you have to get a little more aggressive. You can remove the black entirely using windex or any ammonia based cleaner. This actually works well when doing effects for trees/etc. From what I see, you are doing everything you should be at this stage. If you wish to soften anything try an eraser, other than that, I have no advice other than for you to finish this and keep up posted :D

03-11-2005, 07:01 PM
Thank you so much for your welcomes,responses and encouragement.
Penney, I have attempted to use various simple erasers such as a standard ink eraser and and a regular white eraser, both as you have said require alot of work to get the ink off. I had no idea that an ammonia base would remove the ink. hmmm something else to try
I will continue to scrath away and post here as I go along.
Thanks again!


03-12-2005, 07:45 AM
electric erasers work the best, they take the elbow grease out of it :D

Diana Lee
03-28-2005, 10:33 AM
For even, smooth backgrounds I like to use cross-hatching. There is also steel wool or a very fine grade of sand paper, though I would suggest experimenting with these techniques on a different board first before applying them to your swan piece. Good start there.


04-01-2005, 03:27 AM
I have a swan picture I've been wanting to do in scratch for ages and hesitated because of the water. Your's looks like it's coming along nicely.

I have done limited amounts of water in scratch with both an eraser and the fibreglass brush. I also ink back into pieces with a watered down solution of india ink...it helps give a lot of tonal differences and can be scratched into again.

I think you are doing a fine job on both the swan and the water so far and I'll keep an eye out for updates.