January 19, 2013


January 2013

Last fall I was blown away by Spanish artist Ricardo Martinez' illustrations in Scientific American. What technique was this?? I looked him up (amazing work, right?) and discovered he works in scratchboard.

Scratchboard, huh? Never heard of it. So I promised myself I would check it out.

January 2013
Scratchboard is a paper backing coated with a layer of clay, usually white, and a layer of paint or ink, usually black. Your tool is a slim blade on a stick. Using your quasi-nail file, you scratch off the black stuff so the white shows through. As I was often better at using my eraser tool in Photoshop than the brush, this seemed like a great technique.

Here are my first attempts. The scene at top is my bedroom and it includes a framed painting that is actually the plan for a piece I'm working on in art class. I'm thinking of putting the completed painting in the same spot once it's done. Just because.

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