Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My First Scratchboard Art

I tried my hand at scratchboard yesterday. A year ago, I bought a package of 5"x7" boards, made up of three layers: Masonite (like wood), coated with white clay or chalk, and topped with a thin coat of India ink.

I spent a few hours reading about the art form on the internet, spread a cloth on my lap to catch the dust and ink crumbs, and started scratching.

For inspiration, I used an image of flowers and a mouse from an old pen and ink postcard from a museum. The layout and letters I made up -- but the letters have secret meanings to me, like dates that are special to me, words that I've scrambled up, etc.

I learned that scratchboard is hard on the hands! You really have to clench the instrument, and the old finger joints are complaining to me this morning.

I like the woodcut look, with the black scratches remaining in the white areas, but I also know I did a lousy job compared to how it is supposed to look. Once my fingers feel better, I'll do another one.

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