Trying Color Scratchboard

Can you believe how ugly this is?  Well, thankfully, it was just the beginning.  Last weekend I took a brief scratchboard workshop from Linda Heath Clark, one of our art group’s members.  Linda is quite an accomplished scratchboard artist and an excellent teacher.  She has even taught a workshop at the Smithsonian.  You would never guess that from this student’s work!

I was expecting that we would work on the regular black scratchboard, but instead she taught us this color technique.
 We worked on clayboard.  The first step was to cover the board with acrylic inks and this is where it was really tough and frustrating.  I consider myself to be a decent painter, but I just couldn’t get this ink on this surface to do what I wanted.  The ink wanted to puddle and I found it impossible to get a smooth stroke. But Linda convinced me that it would work out OK, so I persevered and proceeded to the scratching step.
This is what my fox looked like after about two and a half hours of scratching little lines through the dried ink into the layer of white clay on the clayboard.  Better, but still not done,  And as you can see, since I didn’t scratch any lines in the background area, that part still looks like a mess.
From here, the technique is to wash over the painting with thin washes of color.  This will both deepen the color of the unscratched portions and push back the white scratches by giving them a bit of color.  So I will continue to work on this piece and then we’ll see what’s what!

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