Scratch Art 1

Well, you remember the class I took earlier this year at the Woodmere Museum (look at this previous post for an explanation and a way to dig into the other work I did in this class) – where we focused on abstract/realism and how they relate to each other, or merge into each other.

In one of the class discussions someone mentioned “scratch art”, and I remembered having done some images on scratchboard a few years ago. Scratchboard is a masonite backing coated with white clay and covered with India ink (for details: Look here). You use various tools to scrape the ink off to reveal the white underneath.

I knew I had a few unused boards somewhere around. Suddenly I felt I had to work with them, and I decided to use them for that week’s homework assignment, which was to use an artist’s work from the German Expressionist movement to inspire your own. There are lots of black and white images done by printing methods that I have noticed from our class presentations, and I figured I’d use the scratchboard as my material and these images as my insipiration.

I chose some photos to work with and found some 6″ x 6″ boards. I’ll show you the results over a few posts. See what you think. I had a lot of fun with it and I ordered more boards so that I could do more work in this medium.

Here’s the first one. It’s a familiar scene to me and you may remember drawings I have done of this building – the Getty Cottage at the Norristown Farm Park. Here’s a snow scene.

And here is the image. I’m happy with this piece. I think I captured the feeling of the scene and I have a good balance of black and white tones here.

20 thoughts on “Scratch Art 1

  1. Pingback: Scratch Art 2 | Claudia McGill and Her Art World

  2. Helene Brennan

    Wonderful piece of artwork Claudia. I love your interpretation of the image and the feeling of movement and rhythm in the picture, bringing it all to life.

  3. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I really like this scratchboard. It has its own personality as to how to work with it, and the results are so dramatic which is so appealing to me.

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  5. SketchSocial

    Really enjoying this siteso much so it got a mention on mine which I only started a week ago Still loading it up and finalising the pages.

    It’s great to see someone covering scraperboard/scratchboard as when I went into a branch of Hobbycraft last year they hadn’t heard of either. They do they multicoloured version for kids which is fine except you don’t know which colour will appear and scraperfoil in gold, silver and copper. Difficult to photo afterwards and the silver is particularly flaky. The white scraperboard I use I get via Amazon. But you can get a version that you can paint first before scraping as it has a white instead of a black coating too from there.

    It’s great to see posts that mention it, let alone writes about it. I did on my old website but haven’t got round to loading it up on my new one yet. We might be the first to do it, but I hope we won’t be the last. I must get back to using some soon.

    Wonderful stuff.

  6. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. My son also did the kind of scratch art you describe in school, on a film kind of paper. I always liked the look of it. I love this black scratchboard, it works like a dream to make nice crisp lines.

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