• kate

Scratch board, not just for children!

I remember doing scratchboard art as a child. An image printed on the black board, a little wooden pointy stick to scratch with. I also remember the only ones you could do your own picture on were multi-colour swapshop in the background, only good for representing fireworks.

Last week I discovered that they’ve made artist quality scratchboard for grown up! Apparently the Americans have been using it for years. As I’ve wanted to do my own scratch art since I was about 8 I ordered some immediately!

This is a representation of a squirrel from a photo by Terence Porter, on A5 essdee black scraperboard.

The Essdee board is very much like the stuff you get as a kid; apart from a white background obv. It comes in packs with multiple sheets and a little metal scraping tool. It was great to work with although I did have some hiccups.

1. The scraper tool is fine, but you get finer marks with the point of a craft knife.

2. They say you can put black ink/watercolours over bits to cover errors or create shading. While I’m sure this is true - don’t use watercolour markers or sharpies, they left a weird metallic sheen over the remaining black bits that looks odd compared to the rest of the image (see squirrels chin).

3. You can’t just whack whiskers over the top of already scratched bits, the knife jumps all over the place with the indents that are already there and creates very white areas where they cross over.

4. Plan your directions - I did a demo bit of a petal and just went a bit crazy with the cross hatching, going in all different directions. While this was fun and created and interesting effect, it will not work with most pictures so be ordered with your directions.

You can also get the Essdee board in white, this is scraperboard without the black coating. Turns out you can put your own lines/colours on top and scrape away. That seems advanced, I’m going to stick to black for now 😁

Next I’m going to try Ampersand artist quality scratchbord. It seems to hold a smaller scratch and so should take finer details, I’m very excited!

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