View Full Version : New to Group

10-23-2002, 11:53 AM
Hi Folks,

Just found this site a few days ago and enjoyed what I have seen. I am a scratchboard artist from Michigan new to the artworld after becoming disabled in 1997. I hope you enjoy my artwork and I welcome all comments.

Thanks for the great site!!


Rose Queen
10-23-2002, 01:43 PM
Welcome to WetCanvas, Bob! That ram is just gorgeous! I look forward to seeing more of your postings here; c'mon into chat some evening so we can 'meet' you!

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10-23-2002, 01:57 PM
Welcome to Wetcanvas, Bob

What a talented artist you are!
I saw your giraffe on the animal/wildlife forum too.
He has alot of character to him.
Your ram is quite dramatic. Very impressive.
I hope you share more with us.

Fidget (Melody)

10-23-2002, 05:58 PM
Welcome to WC. He's beautiful. I checked out the other forum for your work too. You are very gifted. Hope you enjoy WC as much as I do.

10-24-2002, 03:21 AM
Thanks for the welcome and compliments on my work everyone! Feel free to ask any questions about scratchboard or how I do things. I am more than willing to answer what I can.


Southern Style
10-24-2002, 08:43 AM
Welcome to WetCanvas Bob! Stunning job! Look forward to seeing more of your work!

10-24-2002, 10:59 AM

Hi Bob :)
Welcome to WetCanvas!
This is wonderful and I look forward to seeing more.

Do you ever take progress shots?
I am sure there are many members in this forum and the animal forum who would like to see a work in progress.

I have never used scratchboard but it is on my list!

Thanks for sharing your talent with us.

10-24-2002, 11:52 AM
Thanks ladybug and leaflin!!

I will be taking photos of progression when I begin a new board in the next month or so. I think you will find that scratchboard is about the cheapest form of art around!! Boards cost from about $3.00- $25.00 depending on the size. Tools for scratching are household items or you can use the nibs that can be purchased. I use a straightpin placed in an xacto knife holder for probably 99% of my work. It is fairly clean, no drying time unless you add color which I have been deathly afraid to do as of yet!! LOL. Hate to ruin a board after a month of work ya know????

I cant get over the amount of great information on this site. If I ever decide to try something else I am pretty sure this is where to go to find info about starting. i.e., oils, acrylic, colored pencil etc.

Here is another pic of an Ocelot.


Rose Queen
10-24-2002, 12:51 PM
Wow! The immediacy of your ocelot is amazing! I hope you're cross posting in the Animal/Wildlife forum and other places on WetCanvas, as well, so your work gets the maximum exposure.

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10-24-2002, 02:42 PM
Those are exellent! Care to show us a close-up showing the actual scratch strokes on any of those?

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

10-24-2002, 02:47 PM
Hi Captan,

Here is a close up pic of what I am currently working on. It is a Sandhill Crane chick although you cant tell from this pic what it is going to be.
I will be posting more soon.


10-24-2002, 02:52 PM
This one may be better.

10-24-2002, 05:16 PM
Wow! you really go in for this stuff... :eek: It's hard to see but is that craper board white or silver under the black?

10-24-2002, 07:55 PM
Hey Captan,

The board I use is Claybord Black made by Ampersand. It is white Kaolin Clay on masonite then sprayed with black India Ink. Not like the paper materials that are commonly used. The board is 1/8 " thick. Pretty sturdy stuff.

Most hobby stores carry it along with Dick Blick Art Supply here in the states.


10-26-2002, 12:07 AM
This is incredible! I'm sorry I haven't come into the forum the past few days to welcome you to WC! It is always great to have new artists to share with and learn from. You will find a few more scratch board artists here on the site also. Some post in here, and others cross post here and in the ink forum. Prowdhawk is a wonderful scratchboard artist also. Your style is very realistic, and I am impressed by your technique.

10-26-2002, 02:21 PM
Excellent work Bob, what a delight to see!

I'm working presently on a stipple (pointalism) of a ram coincidently..and posted in the pen & ink forum.

We are just ending a unit with my high school kids on scratchboard and pointalism, and I will have to share your work with them. Talk about whine and complain!

They think I'm unfair because I am, after all ..."an artist!" as though I just popped out of the oven with a pencil and pad in hand! hahaha....

Of course we use student grade for them as beginners and the traditional nib diamond shaped point.

I use a penny nail driven in a wood dowel, then ground down to a point and fine sanded by hand on emery cloth. Your pin in an exacto blade holder makes more practical sense! hahaha... :clap:

I will be starting a scratchboard soon after my stipple is done. I have some heavy board, but I bought some white board too. I thought it would be fun to apply the ink with pens and brush, and also take away...additive and subtractive.

Gregg Murray is a scratchboard wildlife artist from the midwest worth noting. Having about 30 years experience, he adds color to his. Amazing stuff....


Your cat is fabulous...!!! Excellence is no accident!


10-26-2002, 02:28 PM
guess I could ask you one question here Bob....

I had my kids work up a sketch, then rub a white conte pastel on the back and transfer a light contour line drawing to the scratchboard surface. Students in high school get a bit frazzled to do the shot in the dark approach.

Just wondering if you begin with any kind of transfer...or just start and go with it?

take care....


10-26-2002, 06:32 PM
Hey Larry,

I do both use a transfer of basic shape and some I just wing it. When using transfer method I use wax paper to draw the pattern on the board. This keeps the board clean without having chalk, graphite or whatever on the board to smudge while scratching. When I am done with an area I use a blow dryer to melt the wax that has not been scratched off in the process. Works pretty well.

Winging it gets a bit frustrating at times for me too. I can see why the high school kids feel this way too. Average time for me to complete a piece is about 160 hours or so give or take 10. Having worked on one for half that time and end up not having something in the right place is devistating. You can go back and fix an area by adding more black ink to the area but only a certain amount. A risk I dont like to take.

Hope this helps,


10-26-2002, 08:52 PM
Wax paper....that's a pretty cool tip Bob, thanks! I'll have to mess with that, and maybe show the kids a better way.

They aren't too patient to say the least...though they are about to start and spend a whole new quarter on one 18" x 24" acrylic landscape painting.

I bought them some silver scratchboard this year..which is more novel, and caught a number of their interests.

Hard to believe how heavy handed teens can be, girls and boys.

They can't believe how subtle, light and clean I can make scratches or dots....and I tell 'em I'm just a 220 pound 6'-1" woose! :p

These are great projects though for teaching patience, and art appreciation.

The number of hours you put in is similar to what I put into my wildlife paintings over the years. Thing is, I couldn't afford to sell them at prices people could afford to buy...so, had to go the print route. However, wildlife has seen its better day here in my part of the midwest....Wisconsin and Minnesota. (I have heard there might be new interest again though, and particularly out west)

I have been having very good success at selling plein air oils that have been completed in only 1-1/2 to 2 hours, and at prices my 100-200 hour wildlife paintings sold. Crazy...

I see you have been having great success selling your works, but with your images and hours, its too bad they aren't selling at what they should...IMHO...

At any rate...I applaud your efforts, the skills you have developed and more important the appreciation for life you bring into them.

Take care....


10-26-2002, 10:36 PM

I will be experimenting with the white board and color this winter. I added some color to the Ocelot digitally and man what a difference it makes!!

I am very familiar with Gregg's scratchboard along with quite a few others who all have made a huge impact on me and what I need to strive for to succeed at this medium. Again bringing me to colorizing. Why cant everyone just be color blind??? LOL!!!!!!!

I picked up some silver board a few weeks ago to make some quick 15 minute scratches for bookmarks to sell at shows while waiting for "the big sale". I have 5 prints available which are selling rather well but it is so expensive having them done with transparencies, and the whole printing process. Wish I could just do them off my computer but cant get the inks and paper I need to make them last over a long period of time. Guess one step at a time.

I went to your website and looked through your tutorial on painting from the side of the road. I was amazed at quickly it can be done, and you made it sound simple too. Great Job!

I really appreciate your input on my work. Being so new to all of this and having someone as yourself tell me I am on the right track is a big boost.

I found your thread on the Ram you are working on. Looks GREAT!



10-26-2002, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by myorca

I went to your website and looked through your tutorial on painting from the side of the road. I was amazed at quickly it can be done, and you made it sound simple too. Great Job!

I really appreciate your input on my work. Being so new to all of this and having someone as yourself tell me I am on the right track is a big boost.

I realize for artists starting out...what looks easy is unimagineably difficult. I respect that, and don't want to make light of it.

By default of having made art professionally since 1980...the plein air stuff is a heck of a whole lot easier than the contracting of my soul to a 300 hour wildlife work that has no promise of selling...but only a possibility. My skills were primarily reserved for competitions.

Since I knew my work wasn't likely to sell after so so many hours, I made sure the majority of my work would end up being entrees for competitions. The result?? hahahaha...well, I became one of the best known talented wildlife artists in Wisconsin that was truly yet a starving artist. Everyone assumes my financial success because of the name. I have found that the one does not guarantee the other.

At anyrate, not having the financial success has its benefits too in allowing me to go off on other directions when I want.

I did the woodcarving thing for awhile too...for several years, and hope to do more. The result? Well.....hahaha...I won some national competitions and pieces are sitting wowing tourists in galleries throughout the midwest who won't part with the big money to pay for all that time and honored work. :rolleyes:

Not embittered in the least. I guess that's just life. However, its given me experience with an artist's eyes...and the failings have kept me earthbound filled with empathy and has allowed me to be halfway decent in encouraging and teaching others.

So, after 17 years of laboring over 100-300 hour pieces, making little money...and a reputation that along with 50 cents will getcha a cup of coffee....I guess I should be able to do something like make a 2 hour painting on location look easy! At the very least!!!! So...with that all said, its really no big deal for me to do those, IMO.

Others have expressed a desire to paint those as I do, and having respect for all that I've gone thru over the past 20 years or more...I don't imagine many would want to sacrifice and do or experience what it took me to get to where I'm at. My help offered here at WC for artists is a hope I have that they won't necessarily have to!

That is why...fundamentally, I think it is most crucial above all that artists see selling their work as secondary, and that the true blessing is having the gift to make art. To have a vehicle such as art whereby we can legitimately celebrate living.

I can really connect with what I read on your site...and once again express respect for the joy you find in making art! Take care Bob...nice to have you around WC...!!!!!



10-27-2002, 01:30 AM
:clap: :clap: I KNEW you two would hit if off :D Bob, I am primarily a fine art printmaker. Intaglio to be exact. A tool I use called a "Whistler's Etching Needle" would be perfect for what you do. I put grounds on my copper plates, and much like scratch board I mark through the ground before dipping the plate in acid to etch the markings. I get very fine lines with a pin type tool, and fine to medium lines with the etchers needle. That is what I am going to use when I try my hand at scratchboard again. BTW, my handpulled prints, most of which ar no larger than 6x6" sell for up to $200 depending on the amount of work I put into the plate.

10-27-2002, 07:36 PM
Your work is awesome! I too am using scratchboard and love it, esp the NO mess part...lol. I have a ways to go before my personal satisfaction in this medium is met though. There is a wealth of info in here as u will soon find out and everyone is so willing to help. I will be sitting and watching for further works of yours... :) AND once again welcome to WC


10-28-2002, 12:20 AM
I want to pick your brain sometime in the near future if you dont mind about colorizing the scratchboard. I am wanting to try it this winter and am not sure where to begin. I have read conflicting or I should say quite a few different opinions on what to use i.e., transparent ink, watercolor, acrylic etc. Seems to me that transparent ink would probably work the best. Any insight would be very much appreciated!


10-28-2002, 12:25 AM
OOOPS!! Post to Sassybird should have gone to birdlady...What do they say...two birds in the hand...... LOL

Ok...Sassybird....do you have any pics of your plates/prints? Would love to see them. Guess that would be done as a negative correct to get the positive print?


10-28-2002, 09:33 AM
would love to talk to u about the colorizing part. Pick all u want but not sure u will find much..lol. I havent done much with it yet but its still fun. It was suggested to play with it first then go to the real piece so thats what I did. I use the Higgins and the koinoor inks. Cant seem to get the colors I want with just one of them. PLUS I never use straight out of the bottle , I always mix the color I want then put it on the white scratchboard to check and make sure thats what I want. I tried the acrylics and didnt like them as they seemed to leave a film on the board. Hope this helped some and gets u started on trying them.. :)


10-28-2002, 04:14 PM
Bob, my work is posted in the Printmaking Forum. The work comes out as a positive since the ink sinks into the etched area, and I wipe off the excess from the plate before printing. You do get a reversed image when you print though. The plate is put down on the press first, then the paper is lined up to the template. A sheet of newsprint goes over that then the blankets before rolling through the press. You get a nice embossing from the plate on the paper also, because you always soak the paper before printing, blotting excess water off first.

You do have to watch out which bird you approach here on WC! :D Some of are sassy, and the others have their own styles...lol

10-28-2002, 06:26 PM
Its been 20 years since I've had intaglio in college, and yet it has left an indelible mark on me. I loved the processes so much, but of course you have to have the right ventilation and equipment. I'm sincerely happy for you Sassy!!! very cool to do that....


10-28-2002, 06:48 PM
Showed your work today to a number of my classes, Bob. My juniors comment scaled from "holy cow..!" "wow!"....to, "that's crazy!"

hahaha.....great to have such stuff to show 'em!


10-28-2002, 07:39 PM
Hi Larry,

Thanks for bringing my work in with you to let them see it!! Hopefully it will spark something in at least one of them huh???? One can only hope!
It is quite funny the responses I get from people who come by my booth at shows thinking it is black and white photography. I ask them as they stroll by if they are familiar with scratchboard to which most say they had never heard of it. I explain what it is and show them on a demo board how I do it and it seems to suck them right into the booth for a close up look. I have gotten "You got be kidding..." "NO WAY" etc from folks.
I had one person come back 6 times during the day to look again and again in disbelief. Still waiting for him to call to purchase one though! hahahahhhaa

Thanks again Larry!!


10-30-2002, 12:56 AM
Hi Bob,

I love what you do with that scratchboard and those hands of yours!I think it is the most incredible scratching I have seen yet.Took my breath away!

I am brimming with questions- I don't know where to start.
How do you choose the image you will be working?
Do you use a sealant when finished?
Are they matted when done or just framed?
You mentioned wax paper, but when using graphite or chalk have you ever had difficulty removing the lines you don't want?


10-30-2002, 09:45 AM
Hi Heather,,

Thank you for the wonderful words! I seal all the boards when finished with kryon matte finish spray. I am going to try the crystal clear spray on a few to see how they look soon. They say with using these sprays that framing with glass is not necessary however I do put them behind glass as a presonal preference.

Doing the art show circuit I do have them matted and framed. I do the matt cutting myself and save BIG bucks by doing so. Typically it costs about $150.00 to mat and frame an 8x10 here in our area. Using double mat, non-glare glass and standard aluminum frame. I cut out an 8x10 hole in 1/8 inch foam board to hold the scratchboard. With a full piece of foam board behind this so the scratchboard does not fall out. Then matt foamboard and scratchboard as one picture. Make sense?

The problem with graphite or chalk is just the opposite. The lines get rubbed off before I can get to that area. I work and rework an area for so long that my glove (used to keep oil off the board) wipes the graphite/chalk off the rest of the board.

As far as choosing images to work...whatever strikes me at the time I guess is the best answer I can give for that. Wing and a Prayer was inspired by my hospitalization/coma with the butterfly being a Schaus Swallowtail Butterfly and endangerd species. I think a good fit.


10-30-2002, 10:33 AM
hi again Heather,

Just went through some of your past threads and saw your pirate you are/were working on. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!! I am in awe!

A toy sculpture huh?? COOL job! "I dont wanna grow up im a toys r us kid.....la la la!! hahahahhaa


10-30-2002, 10:12 PM
Hi Bob,

Thanks for the info:D
I have only tried it a couple of times and I really enjoyed the process. It was almost as meditative as sculpting is to me. I will have to work with gloves next time. I finished the image and found that a couple of the stray outlines that I had done in pencil didn't want to come off! I drew them on there ever so lightly too.

I'm glad you checked out some of my sculptures:D Thanks for the comments. The pirate girl is still on the shelf for now,I have a few going,so I get back on different ones when the mood hits.I sculpt at a toy company during the day, so I sculpt my own stuff at home to wind down and relax. No rushing around here!

Anyway, thanks again for the info. Now I am itching to try another scratchboard:D


10-30-2002, 10:33 PM
Hi again Heather,

When you spray the fixative on the board when you are finished, it not only protects the surface from MINOR scratches it also disolves or gets rid of your pencil marks, and skin oil. The use of gloves for me is something I started because I hated to get the oil on the board and got so used to wearing it it is hard to scratch without it. I cut the index, thumb and middle finger off the glove at about the first knuckle.

Good luck in future scratches!! hehehhe

That reminds me of my answering machine message..."cant come to the phone right now cause im in the middle of a goooood scratch!! Makes people wonder!! LOL

Let us know when you have other sculptures to view!! PLEASE!