PDA

View Full Version : Making Scratchboards


Axl
12-12-2002, 11:37 PM
I have never been able to find scratchboards home here, although I am really interested in doing some scratchboard art. The following thought came to me, as I have the materials available to me:

Can you craft your own scratchboards using plaster of paris and india ink? Do you think that would work? *ponders*

myorca
12-13-2002, 12:35 AM
hey Axl,

I am not sure if it would work or not. The clay used in Ampersands boards Kaolin clay and is pretty hard stuff. Not sure if plaster would be hard enough?

You can get the boards through Dick Blick if none are available locally. They are cheaper there too!
http://www.dickblick.com/zz149/14/products.asp?param=0&ig_id=552 (http://)

Here is the link to the Dick Blick page of claybord black with priciing etc.

Bob

myorca
12-13-2002, 12:37 AM
well that link didnt work very well....copy and paste it i guess???? LOL

Bob

Axl
12-13-2002, 01:01 AM
okay, thankyou very much :D Perhaps I may even just try it for the sake of trying it (got time to kill whatever LOL) and come back to say how it went :D

myorca
12-13-2002, 01:12 AM
Please do, would be interesting to see how it goes. If you have access to an airbrush that would be the way to put the ink on. Have to be sure it is an even layer or you will end up scratching hard in one area then all of a sudden hit a thin spot and dig deeper than you wanted to go. Good Luck!!

Bob

sassybird
12-13-2002, 12:43 PM
I have made my own scratchboard using heavy bristol board. The trick is getting the ink on evenly. Clayboard is something I have never used. It is too expensive when I need to be buying paper and inks for my printmaking. Give this a try before you invest in pre-coated scratchboard. Oh, another thing that is nice about making your own is you can use any color ink you want :D

Axl
12-13-2002, 01:31 PM
Ooo what a great idea sassy :D Thankyou I will try that too!

scratchmaster
12-13-2002, 11:54 PM
I used to have a recipe that Diana Lee (www.dianalee.com) gave me for making homemade scratchboard. However, I can't seem to find it. If you email her she might still have it around.

It sounds fun but I don't know if I would ever do it. I wouldn't think plaster of paris is the best thing to use. I think it holds a lot of moisture and would probably buckle and crack after a while with changes in humidity. I would look for some kind of clay, but I don't have a clue where I would look. Who knows, maybe it's possible to make great scratchboard from scratch ;) For me, the pre-made scratchboard works just fine. I purchase high-quality scratchboard and it's a pleasure to use.

Poor quality scratchboard (thin postcard-like stuff at most art stores) is terrible and not worth any money at all. If someone gave me 1000 sheets of it I would turn them over and use the white back side for sketching or to make yard sale posters. I might even use them for birdcage liners...if I had a bird.

When I look back at all the art materials I have purchased, scratchboard has to be in the running for giving the most bang for the buck. I can't understand why people say it's expensive. For a 24" 36" sheet of Claybord Black you will pay $22 plus shipping from Dick Blick or some other mail order place. A 19" x 24" sheet of Essdee Scraperboard will cost $17 plus shipping. I buy these sizes because I can cut them down into smaller sizes and overall they are cheaper. Considering the amount of time it takes me to cover the surface of these boards with meaningful scratches, I'd say they are a bargain. The largest scratchboard piece I have ever done is about 11x14 so I get a lot of mileage out of a single board.

Even the scratch tool are not expensive. I use #16 xacto blades almost exclusively. A box of 100 lasts a long, long time.

If I can find that recipe I will post it.

Russ

Leaflin
12-14-2002, 03:44 PM
Just a thought......
What if you had a thin slab of very smooth porcelain or white mid range stoneware fired to bisque then coated it with the ink?
Or if you fired it to vitrification.
Would that work?
I'm going to try it next time I load my kiln.

If you used the plaster or chalk would you coat it with something before you added the ink?
If you didn't have to fire the clay but could make a slip out of it and brush it on a board could you then coat it with something to stop the ink from being absorbed?

I find this whole idea fascinating and would love to know more!

myorca
12-14-2002, 05:23 PM
Ampersand's Claybord also comes in white which has not been sprayed with black ink. You can ink in only the areas you wish to ink leaving a white background. Something I will be trying in the near future myself.

Bob

Axl
12-14-2002, 11:13 PM
Originally posted by leaflin
Just a thought......
What if you had a thin slab of very smooth porcelain or white mid range stoneware fired to bisque then coated it with the ink?
Or if you fired it to vitrification.
Would that work?
I'm going to try it next time I load my kiln.

If you used the plaster or chalk would you coat it with something before you added the ink?
If you didn't have to fire the clay but could make a slip out of it and brush it on a board could you then coat it with something to stop the ink from being absorbed?

I find this whole idea fascinating and would love to know more!

Omgs I never thought about that. My mum has a kiln from when she use to do ceramics. Sounds like that could really work!

Howard Metzenberg
12-16-2002, 10:04 PM
Originally posted by myorca
hey Axl,

I am not sure if it would work or not. The clay used in Ampersands boards Kaolin clay and is pretty hard stuff. Not sure if plaster would be hard enough?

You can get the boards through Dick Blick if none are available locally. They are cheaper there too!
http://www.dickblick.com/zz149/14/products.asp?param=0&ig_id=552 (http://)

Here is the link to the Dick Blick page of claybord black with priciing etc.

Bob

Bob,

Thanks so much for the recommendation. Since there are several posts here mentioning scratchboards, I want to redirect people instead to another page at Dick Blick, which will give you an overview of all scratchboard art materials and tools:

Scratchboard Art
http://www.dickblick.com/categories/scratchboardart/

Somebody else in this thread mentions cheap scratch paper and paper-thin boards. As you can see on our Scratchboard Art page, there is both professional and scholastic grade board available.

Scratchboard art is a great scholastic media, but there is no way that schools can afford the best stuff, like the Esdee Scratchboards. Don't buy an amateur material and expect it to perform like a pro.

One more thing is that a lot of people use Claybord as both an additive and subtractive surface. You can paint on Claybord with acrylic, gouache, and other waterbased paints. Then you can scratch through the paint.

To get a nice even application of color, try airbrushing onto the Clayboard surface with a fluid acrylic paint. A fairly simple airbrush set-up, such as a single-action brush, is adequate for preparing scratchboard art surfaces.

Howard Metzenberg
Internet Strategist
Dick Blick Art Materials

myorca
12-16-2002, 11:27 PM
Hello Howard,

I have to say it is a great pleasure to meet you. Dick Blick is a wonderful art materials source, keep up the great work!

I have to agree with you that if you use inferior products you will get inferior results. I have not used Esdee boards myself because I have been completely satisfied with Claybord.

Thanks again for stopping in!!

Bob

scratchmaster
12-17-2002, 03:35 AM
Schools are limited in what they can spend money on. Adults are also limited, but more likely to spend a little extra if they think it will make a difference. In this case it will. It will make a big difference. I guarantee it.

Don't buy an amateur material and expect it to perform like a pro.

I don't expect amateur material to perform at all and that is why I run around waving my arms, trying to get people not to buy it. Unfortunately scratchboard is often poorly labeled and those buying it aren't able to make clear choices. They need to know that "professional scratchboards" aren't just for professionals, and they are practically mandatory for working this medium without frustration and anguish. (the link actually shows Essdee's commercial grade - their professional grade is thicker, but not worth the extra money in my opinion)

With the popularity of the Internet, Dick Blick, Daniel Smith, and other mail order companies that carry professional scratchboard are becoming more accessible to potential customers. Their web pages are easier to find and their sites are improving, with more products online, and better descriptions to go along with those products. This is a fairly recent development. When I started with scratchboard 10 years ago it certainly wasn't the case. I had no idea that professional scratchboard even existed, let alone where to find it. I was at the mercy of the local art stores, which sold (and still sell) scratchboard without labels, instructions, precautions...zip, zero, nada, not even a brand name in some cases. I did my best with what I could find and prayed that I wouldn't scratch too hard and tear the paper. I wasn't in scratchboard hell forever, thank goodness. My break came when I read a Communication Arts article about Mark Summers. He recommended Essdee Scraperboard, and I figured if it was good enough for the most popular scratchboard artist in the world, it was good enough for me. It's awesome.

Since then I've been an evangelist for quality scratchboard and I try to help people avoid the pitfalls that I experienced.

Russ

diane555
12-20-2002, 09:07 AM
This sounds fascinating! Hope you try making your own Axl....when and if you do please post us a WIP so we can see the results :) Can't wait to see what you do with scratchboard!

Di

Calleorange
02-16-2003, 12:37 PM
If at all possible use the best paper available!!
I've started with college grade, the one with the tiger on the front. It rips way too easy, its too glossy,flimsy, and doesn't re-ink very well. I've tried as many as I could find, and now, I'll only use Esdee!! They're the best in my opinion and the only ones I'll use on black or white scraperboard. If you can get hundreds of dollars for a piece, then why skimp a few dollars and cheat yourself.
Miles
www.milesart.homestead.com

myorca
02-16-2003, 05:50 PM
Hi Miles,

Have you tried Ampersand's claybord Black? For me personally it has performed incredibly. It is not paper, but a 1/8 inch thick masonite board coated with clay and ink. If you have not tried it, it is well worth it. I know that Scratchmaster is very partial to Esdee which I have never tried because i like the claybord so much.

Bob

Crias
03-02-2003, 12:42 AM
Well I guess I am the loner out here that likes the scholastic grade :) It is what I have done the majority of my work on. I have owned one decent size peice of clayboard which I cut to smaller sizes, but I honestly didn't like it as well as the scholastic stuff from dickblick. I baught the clayboard at an art store and have no clue what brand it was. However, it would chip off if I made scratches too close to one another, which really is a problem when i was trying to do detail. That sampling pushed me back to the scholastic stuff, which i am really pretty happy with. Perhaps, some day when i am feeling rich i will purchase more clayboard and give it another try.

birdlady
03-04-2003, 06:40 PM
I have a recipe for making the clayboard not sure where I found it. Think it was Dianes recipe. Hope it helps.



PVA (white craft glue)
Whiting (fine chalk like powder, or plaster)
White Paint (cheap, water based)

Mix 2parts PVA, 2 parts Whiting, and 1 part White Paint. Paint thickly with a broad brush on
a piece of hard board (keep board flat). Make 4 to 6 coats letting it dry between coats. The glue prevents the penetration of the inks, the whiting gives body, and the paint makes it white. If you experiment you will find the combination that suits you. Sand it smooth and add inks.


Laurie

Axl
03-04-2003, 11:00 PM
wow thanx birdlady!

lorna12
03-16-2003, 03:18 PM
A friend just pointed me in this direction, sure glad she did!

Yes, that is Diana Lee's recipe. I visited her site and printed in off a while back. I haven't tried it yet, and I don't know if I will as I am pretty pleased with the results I'm getting on clayboard black. I, too, buy the big sheets and cut them down and don't find that very expensive. I agree with Bob, (who got me started in this) once you use the best and get good results, why change?

By the way, Diana says she hasn't tried this recipe yet, either.

I didn't know there was another place for scratchart in wetcanvas, I'll be checking back here more often!

myorca
03-16-2003, 11:15 PM
LOL Lorna!! Welcome to the "other" scratchboard area!! hehehe

lorna12
03-17-2003, 04:30 AM
I have to get more adventurous and go through more of these forums and see what else I'm missing!!:D If I do that, when will I find the time to paint or scratch!!! This place really is addictive.;)

Rose Queen
03-23-2003, 02:44 PM
Well, Axl, it's been a while since you posted this question, but just today I read of a "how to make your own scratchboard" technique on another list I'm on and thought I'd post it here for anyone who wants to play!

Scratch Board Technique:

Needed:
Glossy Cardstock
Dye based InkPads
Black Spray Paint
Scratch Tool

Take your glossy cardstock and smear your favorite colors of dye-based inks all over. Remember in grade school when you colored with crayons, then covered with black and scratched it? Same thing. So put lots of color! Big areas of one color don't work well unless you don't want to view many colors when finished.

Let dry.

Take outside and spray black spray paint on card.

Let dry.

Then the fun part -- start scratching! I found that scratching soon after the paint is dry will produce better results. I
tried to finish later that evening and it was more difficult to scratch!

Bertoni
09-05-2006, 10:05 AM
SCRATCHBOARD:thumbsup: :clap:

Mary Woodul
09-05-2006, 11:17 AM
I hadn't seen Diana's recipe for scratchboad. I will have to try this before going to the real thing.:D

catchlight
09-09-2006, 01:52 AM
I saw this a couple of days ago when I was really wanting to find a way to make my own scratchboard. Here in NZ I'm finding it a bit hard to find a supplier (any kiwi's out there know of somewhere that sells it?) where you don't have to buy 10 sheets at a time minimum. Anyways, I had a go at making up my own recipe and it's working pretty well. Not as good as the real thing I'm sure, but it's doing the trick for an amateur.

All I did was get a sheet of hard board, do thick layers of gesso (I figured it has all the same qualities as Diana Lee's recipe, white, not absorbant etc) and then sand them very smooth and did the ink layer in indian ink (I'm not sure if this was the best sort as it took quite a few layers to reach black, although I think an airbrush would have done it quicker and easier).

It's working just fine, I just thought if there was someone else out there without access to proper scratchboards, this might be useful, particularly since it's so simple and uses things that artists are likely to have lying around anyway.

Here's a link to my very amateurish attempts!
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4950030&posted=1#post4950030

Bertoni
09-10-2006, 07:55 AM
I just put down the coats of gesso on a small piece of matboard. When it dries, I'll get the india ink down. This should be a fun experiment. Will be putting a light coat of acrylic gel medium over the india ink first. Don't know why I want to do that. I'll do it over half the board just to see if it works!!! Thanks for the tip! I usually use Ampersand Claybord for scratchboard. It's my favorite, but just have to experiment with this! The work on your eagle is terrific!:clap:

catchlight
09-10-2006, 05:32 PM
Thanks Bertoni! Ooh Gel medium, now there's an idea! It's quite tricky to get the india ink right, but I found you don't actually have to get it perfectly black to get a good effect (I did the eagle without putting on so many layers and it's much easier to scratch and still looks fine, especially since you scratch off most of the bits that aren't perfect anyway!). I'd be really interested to hear how it compares to the ampersand board since I haven't got the real thing to compare it to! I'm sure it's not anything like as good but it's all I can get LOL :D

scratchmaster
09-10-2006, 06:06 PM
Essdee Scraperboard and Claybord Black both have surfaces that scratch easily. They have ink layers that are nice and black, but not very thick. As a consequence, both products are a pleasure to use.

If the ink layer is too thick it has a tendency to flake and crumble, especially if the scratch tool isn't nice and sharp. Also, if the ink layer is too thick, scratch tools will tend to skip on the surface. I have a feeling the coat of gel medium will not yield a good result.

Bertoni
09-10-2006, 07:09 PM
That's exactly what happened with my experiment! My ink and gesso combo was too darn thick. So the scratching didn't work out! Talk about skipping on the surface. The surface prep on the eagle here was perfect! So,I guess I'll just keep working on my Ampersand Claybord and Essdee!! They cost $,but they're worth it!

catchlight
09-11-2006, 03:53 AM
Aww sorry Bertoni! I think my best experiment was with the eagle, the surface was really great on that one. No skipping, it didn't flake or crumble and came off easily. The horse had thicker ink and so things didn't go quite as well, but it still worked it was just trickier. I'd love to try the real thing but I'm stuck with the homemade variety at least for now! :)

Greenish Apple
09-13-2006, 02:48 PM
Hi Axl,
I tried Diana's recipe but it is very thick and hard to get on the boards evenly.

Do you have a Michael's near by? They carry scratchboard in the aisle with the pencils and linocutters.

If you insist on making your own:
Christina Langman puts gesso on masonite.
http://scottlangman.com/art/highres/fortitude.html

I followed Christina's lead and made this picture:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=361920

I have made some more boards. I gessoed & sanded them three times each using a sponge roller, then I airbrushed ink or thinned acrylic paint on them. I've left some white. I'll be starting a polar bear on one of the acrylic colored boards.

Love your work Bob!

David

mgordon332
01-31-2007, 11:52 AM
I know this question has been here a while, but I just found this section on Scratchboard yesterday.

I have made my own scratchboard and it is a little time consuming, but it worked very well. Here is how I did it.

On a piece of masonite start by lightly sanding the surface then paint one coat of gesso on top in ONE direction. Let that dry. Then sand lightly. Then add another coat of gesso, but apply in the opposite direction of the first and let that dry. Sand again but use a finer and finer grit as you progress. You do this layer of gesso thing 5 or six times. You want a somewhat thick but very smooth surface. After this is done and dried and sanded apply india ink in one direction only, the foam brushes work well for this (no fuzz). Let dry. Then apply another coat in the opposite direction. Do 4 layers of india ink and remember to go in the opposite direction each time.

Using this process I have a scratchboard from twenty years ago that is still in beautiful condition and the suface was very nice to work with.

Sorry it took so long to find you all! :thumbsup:
Maggie

uuglypher
02-10-2007, 10:57 PM
On a piece of masonite start by lightly sanding the surface then paint one coat of gesso on top in ONE direction. Let that dry. Then sand lightly. Then add another coat of gesso, but apply in the opposite direction of the first and let that dry. Sand again but use a finer and finer grit as you progress. You do this layer of gesso thing 5 or six times. You want a somewhat thick but very smooth surface. After this is done and dried and sanded apply india ink in one direction only, the foam brushes work well for this (no fuzz). Let dry. Then apply another coat in the opposite direction. Do 4 layers of india ink and remember to go in the opposite direction each time.

Maggie,

The gesso you use; is it commercial acrylic gesso or is it traditional gesso (skin glue and whiting)? If the latter, or made by some other recipie, what was the recipie?

Thanks,
Dave

mgordon332
02-12-2007, 04:37 PM
Sorry I took so long Dave. It is regular ol' gesso. That is what we used. I hope this helps.

Good luck! :wave:
Maggie

uuglypher
02-12-2007, 06:47 PM
Sorry I took so long Dave. It is regular ol' gesso. That is what we used. I hope this helps.

Good luck! :wave:
Maggie

Hi, Maggie,
I'm still not sure what that ("...regular ol' gesso...) is. Is it gesso you can buy in a jar (acrylic gesso) or is it real gesso you have to prepare from hide glue and whiting?

Thanks,
Dave

mgordon332
02-15-2007, 02:05 PM
Sorry Dave, the only kind I ever used was the kind in the jar. I always take the easy way out. No one ever showed me how to mix up gesso. The gesso (acrylic gesso) in the jar worked just fine. Just remember to take your time and let the layers dry thoroughly and sand until it is smooth.

Hope this works for you.

Good luck,
Maggie

Rodman
03-01-2007, 10:00 AM
I made a scratchboard out of a motorcycle helmet..i'll have to post a pic when i get home from vacation...i did this helmet ..mmmm. maybe 3 years ago and it still looks perfect..well..as good as it did when i did it...

JDuckett
03-01-2007, 01:43 PM
Please post the helmet and any info you would like to share! I have been thinking awhile about doing something similar, but wasn't sure about a good approach.
Thanks.

Rodman
03-01-2007, 05:08 PM
i think i found a pic of the helmet..i'll have to look at it toremember how the heck i didit..http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98393

JDuckett
03-01-2007, 08:35 PM
Thanks so much Rod. Man, that's one Great helmet!! I've done a few helmets in the past, but now just stripe occasionally. For some reason, I don't have the patience to work on helmets but love to do scratchboard. It did say in the old post that you sprayed the white pretty thick and then sprayed india ink over that. This like all of your other work looks great!
I may try doing this on an aluminum panel soon.
Thanks again for taking the time to post this!!

John