View Full Version : My first scratchboard - CAT...

08-31-2005, 12:10 AM
Hi Folks,
I never knew such a thing called scratchboard existed until a month ago. And when I got to know about it, through google, while searching for something else, I couldnt wait to try my hands on it! Then discovered that these clayboards weren't available in India.

I have prepared my own board. Got a piece of flat wood, and attached a layer of canvas onto it. Then applied several coats of chalk powder and adhesive, to make up for the clay. After which I applied a coat of Indian ink. I am not even sure if this is how a clayboard is prepared, but jus went ahead with it.

I should have ideally sketched on a rough sheet and transfered the sketch onto the board, but I went ahead and sketched free hand with a white pencil. So couldnt so any modifications to the sketch..:( The reference image is from the RIL.

And my scratchboard is here.

I could not bring about depths just by varying the scratching pressure, so I had to resort to some paints to give that effect... I'd have been happier if I did not have to use paints at all... Hope I will improve in my subsequent efforts.

Please do give me feedback on this piece. I am really looking forward to critical feedback so that I can do better. Thank you.


08-31-2005, 04:57 AM
Hi nithya :wave: Welcome to the forum :D
I haven't done any scratching yet but it looks to me you did a pretty good job making your own board.
I find your sketch very appealing ... you haven't overworked the fur... and you have captured the essence of the cat in those eyes.
I'm sure Bob (myorka) will be dropping in soon. He is our resident scratchboard expert and might be able to give you some pointers for the next one :cat:

08-31-2005, 11:41 AM
Hi Nithya!

A remarkable job on this especially using homemade scratchboard!

Dick Blick art supplies has international shipping of claybord black made by Ampersand. I cant imagine what you would come up with by using it!! I think it would be well worth the shipping charges to get some. You will be able to get superb depth control using it and unlimited gray scale values.

Nice Job!


Mary Woodul
08-31-2005, 11:55 AM
Very nice Nithya, I love the expression and his eyes are so loving.

08-31-2005, 03:46 PM
Beautiful. I see absolutely nothing wrong with using color to get the effect you want. You are very talented and resourceful, keep up the good work.
Karen H

09-01-2005, 02:29 AM
Chris, Mary, Karen
Thank you very much.

Thanks a lot for the encouragement! Yeah, I went through the dickblick catalogue, but wanted to try my hand at the technique first, before I go ahaead and ordered the boards. Now I think I would do it.

What are the tools to be used for scratching? I used ordinary pins only, as I couldnt get special knives etc.

09-01-2005, 05:46 AM
I haven't used this scratchboard since I was at school

You could use the point of a craft knife?

one criticism - please don't do such a big overwhelming signature! it takes away from the drawing. A small signature looks much better.

09-01-2005, 08:15 AM

I use a straightpin for 99% of my scratching, cutting the head off and placing it in an xacto knife holder. I personally do not like using an xacto blade but that is just me, as Crias and Lorna both get outstanding results by using it.

When you do get claybord, you will be DELIGHTED to work with it.


09-02-2005, 11:02 PM
Nithya....I applaud your tenasity in creating your scatchboard. With what you had to work with you did realy well. If I may offer a few pointers...there is a paper type of scratchboard which is much less expensive and is great to practice on. As a matter of fact I have done some real keepers on this type. The sheets come on 8" x 10" pieces. Next I would like to offer my sugestions for greyscale control...1.. width of scratch lines...space between lines.. Length of scratch lines ....density of lines or dots...color. I hope this will be of some help. Any more questions and I am sure we will all have lots of answers. :clap: :clap: Victor

09-03-2005, 12:11 AM
I use a #11 blade (US) scratchboard knife, but also use dental picks for finer detail. I will also resort to a pin, but my eyes have trouble seeing where it goes.
Waldport, Oregon

09-03-2005, 04:28 AM
Nithya, you are so innovative -- I really applaud you for such a great effort in making your own scratchboard. Your scratched cat has turned out beautifully, and to think it is your first ever on your own surface. Wonderful. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Val. :wave:

09-05-2005, 12:19 AM
Thank you for those suggestions. Of course, they are of great help. I will be starting a new scratchboard next week, so hope to put these suggestions to practice.

Karen, Val,
Thanks so much.