Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Scratchboard Frustration

My good buddy, Win Dinn, had occasion to be in Calgary last week. I was so pleased she extended her whirlwind trip to include a couple of days and nights with me/us. We met in Calgary for some serious shopping, where we hit five art and/or craft stores, interspersed with an amazing, two hour lunch at the Black Pig Bistro ...


We spent only one morning in The Anne Frank Room experimenting with a scratchboard technique. At The Queen's Ink I was permitted to photograph the image below and while there, I promptly bought what the sales lady told me I would need to create something like this ...

Scratchboard art by Chris Hinds, a local Maryland artist/teacher gives workshops at
The Queen's Ink.  Sadly, she has no web presence

Before Win and I began, I telephoned The Queen's Ink to inquire (again) about the image.  The kind gal on the other end of the line gave me helpful suggestions (a mini tutorial really) about what was used and how the piece was created.    
It all began so well, having too much fun dripping alcohol inks and spraying them with isopropyl (99%) alcohol onto the recommended Ampersand encausticbord 5" x 7" panels.
Note the opposite end of the spectrum colour choices each of us made!

When dry, we rubber stamped our chosen motif onto this. Then, using the new nibs purchased on our shopping spree, of the day before, we began to "scratch" away the stamped image.   

We noticed that the white was hard to reveal where we had applied a lot of alcohol ink

I was so annoyed with the way I butchered mine that I didn't (and won't) photograph
the state it is in after this stage!

The aforementioned nibs, and the little "rake" tool I purchased at The Queen's Ink were not as effective, a scratching tool, as my Slice knife, seen in my hand above. This delightful instrument was a gift from my friend and artist extraordinaire Sharlene Stushnow-Lee.
The encausticbord panels may have been our downfall. That and perhaps being to heavy handed with the scratching tools? In some places we gouged right down to the board itself. We ran out of steam or else we may have tried the Ampersand claybord, which does say "Thinly apply paint or ink, remove it, reapply it, and even scratch though it to add contrast, texture and fine details".
Hello fellow artists out there ... does anyone have suggestions about what substrate to use or ideas on how to make a scratchboard piece of art that isn't scratched through a black layer?