a Description of its History,
Materials and Technique
scratchboard is a relatively new process, humans have
been scratching images since the 'caveman' era. The
materials used for this time period were rock and bone.
Then as time went on it became metal etching,
scratchboard and the wood engraving of today.
scratchboard was developed in the late 19th century.
Versions of this technique were cardboard coated with
chalk, then applications of India Ink were applied in
countries such as England, Austria and Italy. It became
popular for its "fine" line look, and could be
photographically reduced for reproduction without working
in reverse with ease. It was used for advertising and
editorial illustrations mainly from the 1020's to the
1950's. Scratchboard has made somewhat of a comeback
these last two decades as an appealing medium.
I am currently
using a scratchboard that is made in Texas, called
"claybord". It is a masonite board with a chalk
deposited on it and covered with India Ink. It's a lot
sturdier than the paper scratchboard you find in most art
supply stores. The better the quality, the finer the
line, which results in minimal flaking and ragged edges.
The scratching tools I use consist of a #11 exacto blade,
a scratch knife, a fiber brush and oil-free steel wool.
||Once I have my
preliminary drawing sketched on tracing paper, I tape it
to the scratchboard. I then retrace the basic outline of
the drawing with a ball point pen. This leaves indented
lines on the scratchboard for me to follow.
||I then remove the
tracing paper to reveal the indentations that can be seen
with good angled lighting. I always keep the sketch
nearby as my reference. I then proceed to use the
scratching tools to remove the black ink from the board,
thus exposing the white layer underneath. To establish
elements of shading, I use different pressures and
directional scratching to achieve the end result. I
periodically step back from the piece I am working on to
view the overall balance.
||After the piece of
artwork is done, I decide whether or not to add color. If
I do decide to add color, I use either a watercolor or
acrylic ink wash over the areas I wish to fill in.
||For the final
step, I preserve the piece of artwork by spraying a clear
acrylic coating on it. This also helps to minimize the
appearance of any paint that has stayed onto the black areas
Imagery by Stan, Inc.
2065 Attache Ct ....Clearwater,
Fl ....33764 ....727-507-0822
Artwork copyright © 2001 Stanley Morrison - All Rights