About scratchboard art

Scratchboard art is a relatively unknown art form.  Early in the twentieth century it was mostly used for book and magazine illustrations.  A scratchboard is a drawing board coated with a fine layer of white clay, and is top coated with permanent black ink.  Pictures are created using a sharp scribing tool to literally scratch thousands of marks into the surface of the scratchboard producing an effect similar to engraving.  Each scratch produces a white mark representing light in the design.

Finished scratchboard pieces may be left black and white or the white lines can be painted with translucent inks, producing beautifully colored designs.  After finishing a design, lightly spraying the picture with a clear acrylic fixative protects it from moisture and fingerprints.  Images from completed scratchboard pieces make fine art prints.