View Full Version : First posting... monkey scratch- WIP

03-20-2011, 01:31 AM
Ok, this is my first posting. Small monkey... I was actually scared to touch tool to paper, but did so anyway. Obviously, I have some extra curricular problems... such as smudges by my fingers and the flash of my camera reflected off the areas I'd used an eraser on... much to my suprise as you can's see them just by looking at it. Please feel free to be critical, I won't break:) I know I have a long way to go. This is much harder than it looks.


Snuzin Susan
03-20-2011, 03:03 AM
Looks food for your first scratch. You're following fur direction which is nice. I would suggest staying away from outlining and work towards using your scratches to give the objects a three dimensional feel. Also what are you working on? Is is scratch paper or board (ampersand/esdee)?


03-20-2011, 03:47 AM
Welcome! I agree with Snuzy...you did a great job, first or not.

You said "touch tool to paper", so I'm assuming that's what it's on?? If so you might want to try Ampersand Scratchbords...they are the best to work on. Much more forgiving than paper and much easier to use, imho. There are some great threads stickied at the top of the forum, full of tips, tricks and tools used, that you may want to check out. Looking forward to seeing more from you!

03-20-2011, 04:41 AM
This is good for a first attempt, if it is the paper type, the ampersand is much nicer to work on, as both Snuzie and Lorna pointed out.


03-20-2011, 04:49 AM
Seriously cool monkey :thumbsup: Don't worry too much about the fingerprints - they tend to disappear with a coat of fixative or when you are finished, varnish.

03-20-2011, 09:05 AM
thanks for the reply. yes, I'm using paper, not board, but I'll look into the board. Do the eraser marks disappear under the fixative as well? I was shocked to see them under the camera flash. As for the outlining... only thing I did that on was the branch the monkey is on... and I wasn't thrilled with the result, I'll admit:) I'm slightly broke at the moment so I'll have to keep working with the paper for awhile longer, since it's what I have to work with. on to the next...

Harry Seymour
03-20-2011, 09:29 AM
Great start Matt. You are off and running.

03-20-2011, 01:49 PM
If eraser marks are too prominent use a light wash to cover. Small smudges tend to go away when sprayed on an ampersand board, not sure about the paper. The eraser can and is used as one of the scratch tools for certain textures Welcome to the group, I look forward to seeing more from you.

Snuzin Susan
03-20-2011, 01:55 PM
Surprisingly the board is not much more then the paper. You can go to a Hobby Lobby and pick up a 3 pack of 5x7s for around $7-8. Really it is worth spending the couple extra dollars since they're artist grade, on a solid support, work 100x better then the paper, you can add color, and will accept several layers of protective coating after you are finished. On top of that they are then ready to pop into a frame w/o glass. With that and a x-acto and you're good to go for a while.


03-20-2011, 04:28 PM
Looking good!

03-20-2011, 04:30 PM
Thanks for the info, Susan. I'll need to order them, as there is no where local around here that sells anything like art supplies. Know a good supplier?
GoldenArt... can you tell me what you mean by "using a light wash?" as I'm not sure how to go about that. right now I only have a few ink pens to work with, and I"ll obviously have to update my toolbox.

03-20-2011, 04:52 PM
For a first board, Matt, I think you did a very good job. You will really like the boards. Best of luck.

Diana Lee
03-20-2011, 06:43 PM
You really are off and running. Looking good to me! Are you having fun?


03-20-2011, 07:51 PM
Know a good supplier?

This page is Dick Blick's scratchboard (black) section. (http://www.dickblick.com/products/ampersand-scratchbord/)

03-21-2011, 07:16 AM
Matt... im glad you got started... nice going on your first piece. The pointers from the others are perfect... Goldenart meant reduce some India Ink and coat the lil bang ups on the board.( it works great on the Ampersand product...might wanna test it on the Essdee brand). my advice would be.....S L O O O O W .....DOWN!!

03-21-2011, 11:42 AM
Very well done, Matt. :thumbsup: I look forward to seeing your next piece.

03-24-2011, 11:49 AM
I agree with what the others have said before me.
Definately get a hold of some Ampersand boards first off. You will find a HUGE difference between the paper and the board. Cathy (Crias) did a piece using the paper and while it was outstanding....it didn't have the depth and shading that can be achieved using the boards.
I would also suggest looking at her blog or website and also in the how to section above that Patrick mentioned.... she has steps on how to build up layers of fur using light scratching and ink washes. It's VERY helpful. I've studied not only hers but many others here....Patrick's, Caribou Hills, Pamela's, Harold's, Diana's, Lorna's, Les'.....many many others....and along the way I learned that I won't be able to copy theirs....nor do I want to! But I can and did come up with a way to make my own. It's not as good as I want it to be.....But with every piece....I feel I'm getting a little closer.....and I stress A LITTLE closer :D
Most of all.......Enjoy what you do.....even if it is frustrating at times! :thumbsup:

03-24-2011, 04:52 PM
I only started scratchboard 4 months ago. Little did I know at the time that the paper scratch stuff was not very good, and I did not know there was anything better.... such as... Ampersand board?? So my first efforts were not detailed at all and not so easy to scratch the paper without it pulling off.

Through the help of Lorna for the first couple months and from the rest of the artists here in forum, I learned about the Ampersand Board, nearly bought out every store in Canada and now get mine from Seattle. Such a difference to work with, so smooth and able to apply diluted mixtures of ink (lots of water, just one drop of ink at a time until you get it where it shades, but not really dark). At first, I was diluting the ink too dark and ran into problems. Then from the help of others I learned to scratch ever so lightly (faintly) for the first coat, then go over lightly with more coats working up and filling in spaces in the fur. You can then use the diluted ink to go over areas which need to be toned down and scratch over again if you wish.

Listen to me talk.... you would think that I am a real pro at this, but I am NOT!!!

At first when I was being advised of all these methods, it was just too OVERWHELMING but little by little, all advice is finally beginning to fall into place. I have soooo much more to learn but I see a little more progress in my work every day because some of this advice is finally sticking in this old brain and becoming more second nature. So it will come to you.... just keep working at it. Wishing you Good Luck and Happy Scratching. Gail.