View Full Version : The original scratchboard?

12-28-2006, 12:52 AM
I've done only a couple of "scratchboard-type" pieces, but not on clayboard. So I offer yet another suggestion of an alternative to commercially available clayboard/Rossboard.

A long interest in prehistoric art in general and petroglyphic art in particular made me aware that the prehistoric technique of scratching or pecking thru a dark layer of weathering pigment ("varnish") that covers exposed surfaces of lighter colored rock to produce an image long antedated the modern "scratchboard" technique. So... I gave it a try on stone.

see <http://www.sdartists.net/members/dgraham> (go to Gallery Two, second picture from the top).

The caption pretty well states how it was done. Just to see if it was possible, I did a fairly detailed petroglyph of a bobcat in naturally patinated sandstone using indirect percussion ( flint/chert gravers struck with an elk antler mallet). The detail in that one far exceeded that attempted by the prehistoric petroglyph artists. (Probably because I could go to the 'fridge for snack breaks rather than have to engage in hours of hunting and gathering to keep body and soul together!)

If I can find a picture of that bobcat (the same image as that in the "reverse skrimshaw" in slate elsewhere on the website) I'll post it.

Dave Graham

12-28-2006, 12:57 AM
yep, scratchart is probably among the oldest of art forms for sure. Good on you for giving petroglyphs a try. I'm off to find that website and take a peek.

12-28-2006, 02:17 AM
Enjoyed reading your post! Just checked out Graham's Page 2!! The Puma he did is sensational. It gives me ideas since I'm always ready to experiment with something different!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Welcome to the Forum!!!!

12-28-2006, 10:09 AM
ps: I've started experimenting with the process already!:clap: :clap: :clap: