Australian Artist Magazine - Scratch Me Happy! by Geraldine Simmons

Using Scratchboard to Create Realistic and Expressive Animal Portraits

 Geraldine demonstrates and describes the art of scratchboard to create realistic and expressive animal portraits in a 10 page featured article in the January, 2017 issue.

Following is an excerpt from the magazine... "For anyone who is not familiar with this medium, scratchboard is an etching medium that consists of a thin masonite board covered by a layer of pure white clay that is sprayed with black ink. Sharp tools such as ‘x-acto” knives and fine fiberglass pens are used to scratch or scrape away the black ink to expose the white clay underneath. Various textures can be achieved depending on the abrasive tool used like oil- free steel wool for example, which is effective for creating the ‘fuzzy fur’ texture for a koala.

Instead of adding a line like you would when applying graphite pencil to white paper (positive drawing) scratchboard is the opposite; scratching away black to reveal white (negative drawing). It is a very time-consuming medium that requires a lot of patience and focus but I find that once I get in the swing of things I lose any sense of time that I am sure many artists can relate to."