What is Scratchboard?

What is Scratchboard?

Scratchboard is a 2-dimensional subtractive art form. The support typically consists of a white kaolin clay coated hardboard covered with black India ink. Sharp tools are used to remove, or “scratch”, through the black ink, revealing the white clay underneath. The majority of the values within the artwork are achieved by varying the amount of surface layer that has been removed.

Artworks may be left black & white, or the exposed clay areas can be coloured.  A variety of transparent mediums may be used for colour, including watercolour, ink, and fluid acrylics. In this case, tonal variation may also be obtained with varying dilutions. These clay coated boards can also be covered initially with other coloured media, and then scratched.

Many artists use sharp tools such as scalpel blades to scratch into the clay, creating work with exceptional detail and realism, but any abrasive implement may be used to create a variety of effects. This unique process has attracted artists for its control in rendering intricate subject matter, while remaining highly versatile to those exploring folk art, abstract work and many other artistic styles.

For more information about Scratchboard, please visit http://scratchboardsociety.org/

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