Search This Blog


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Honoring Scratchboard Artist Diana Lee

Tiny Feet

Diana Lee, internationally known scratchboard artist and dear friend to Ampersand passed last Wednesday evening.  She was surrounded by family and passed peacefully after a long struggle with many ailments, according to her adoring husband, Steve Bockman.  

We are deeply thankful for the time we have had to get to know Diana and her work, to see her passion for Scratchbord™, and to witness her involvement in teaching and the International Society of Scratchboard Artists.  She raised the bar for scratch art and brought so much attention to the medium.  Her body of work is a testament to her great skill and stamina in pursuit of creating some of the most beautiful imagery and story through her art.

We wish much peace to Steve and family and send our deepest sympathy to the scratchboard family.

Tiny Dancer

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Current Events with Scratchbord™ Artists

Saltie, 8"x 10" work by John Agnew
Crocodile Scratchboards opened last fall on tour by notable animal artist, John Agnew and curated by David Wagner. It is currently at the Sternberg Museum in Hays, KS  and will be on display through August 31, 2016.  Thirty works created altogether, with 20 Scratchbord works, all on Ampersand Scratchbord™ panels, and ten preliminary sketches and paintings. John is a current member of the International Society of Scratchboard Artists and particularly enjoys crocodilian subject matter although he has traveled worldwide to capture all varieties of animals not only in scratch art but also in painting.  John keeps his website current with a beautiful display of his work:

For those that are new to our blog, to Ampersand, or to Scratchbord™, there is a wonderful group of artists in the International Society of Scratchboard Artists.  This international group began from a WetCanvas! forum and has brought much attention and education to the world of scratch art as well as a mutually beneficial relationship with Ampersand.  We are proud sponsors and supporters of their annual exhibition and convention with several workshops and a juried show.  Next year's convention is tentatively scheduled for Australia.  The past exhibition finished in April this year in Tucson, Arizona by you can view the exhibition online.  Associate membership is open to anyone interested in Scratch art, and Active membership is open to those interested in exhibitions.  Details of membership, events, workshops and the society can all be found through their website:

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Scratchbord™ Basics

Scratchbord flat panel by Ampersand Art Supply Ampersand Scratchbord™ has a smooth, absorbent kaolin clay ground evenly coated with black India ink. Scratch the black ink away with ease and control to crisp white fluid lines. 

Backed with Ampersand’s true artist hardboard, Scratchbord will not tear, crack or bend like other paper scratchboards and can be sealed with spray fixative to eliminate fingerprints for perfect glass-free presentation. 

Tips for Using Scratchbord™ 
  • Start by drawing your subject matter directly on the Scratchbord™ surface with pastels, plain white chalk or graphite pencil. 
  • You can also transfer a completed drawing by chalking the back and tracing over the main lines with a pen or pencil or by using graphite transfer paper. 
  • To begin, scratch out all the lines from your drawing on the Scratchbord. Next, scratch in directional lines to show volume. Following the directional lines and repeating them to fill in, start sculpting out the shapes. Go over areas several times that need to be the most highlighted. 
  • When the drawing is completed, clean off any scratched clay-ink debris and chalk dust with a very soft cloth.  

Adding Vibrant Color
  • To add color, use Scratchbord-Claybord™ Inks that are both waterproof and transparent. 
  • For best results, build up the color in diluted washes following the directional lines in the drawing. Other brands of ink can leave heavy residue on the black surface and can be difficult to scratch if not quickly wiped off. 
  • For final touch up, apply Ampersand Black Repair ink around the edges of the subject matter to cover any left over residue and over-painting. Once all the color is in, go back and scratch out the highlights. 
  • If you make a mistake, you can repair it. Although the repaired surface won’t be completely the same as the surface you began with, there are a couple of ways to repair areas that need to be changed. For best results, use Ampersand Black Repair ink or Sumi India ink diluted 1/2 with water and gently apply with a cotton swab or small brush over the area to be repaired. Repeat thin applications until the area is completely covered. An airbrush can also be used for larger areas. 

Seal Scratchbord™ 

    Scratchbord Tools & Accessories
  • Use an acrylic spray fixative like Krylon® UV Resistant Clear Coating #1309 (Matte) or #1305 (Gloss). It will dissolve fingerprints and even out smudges while also protecting the surface from dirt and water. 
  • First, remove all loose dust and debris from the surface with a soft brush or cloth being careful not to scuff the surface. 
  • Spray with 2 -3 coats of fixative (as directed on the can) in low humidity, warmer temperatures and in a well-ventilated area. 

Step By Step Sally Maxwell's Demonstration
Scratchbord Tools & Accessories
Coloring Scratchbord with Ampersand Inks
Ampersand's Scratchbord Videos
International Society of Scratchbord Artists
WetCanvas! Scratchbord Forum

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Featured Artist: Lynnette Shelley

Nightlight, "11 x 14", ink and acrylic on Aquabord

Pennsylvania artist, Lynnette Shelley's unusual and culturally charged artwork has won numerous awards and found its way into collections across the world.  Her mixed media pieces are a conglomeration of her drawing passion and the collection of interests she has pulled from Celtic art, wildlife, archetypal symbology and art nouveau.  Lynnette explains, "I've been fascinated by artwork from native cultures from all around the world, and also by the folklore and mythology from those cultures. This was natural as when I was a child, Greek mythology and fairytales were some of my favorite reading material. So, my current style is an amalgam of things I have picked up over the years as well as my love for patterns and stylized shapes. These sort of all meld into the pictures I am creating now."

Scolding Bird and Horse, 18" x 24", ink, acrylic
and Pysanky eggshell mosaic on Aquabord
Lynnette's drawing has been the primary focus of her work, guiding her to mixed media and to find Aquabord™, a toothy surface that grabs her drawing utensils. "I originally worked on paper and illustration board since I am heavily into drawing. However, as I developed my background splash techniques, I needed a sturdier surface and one that could absorb water well. I also wanted to be able to eliminate glass framing from the finished process as I did not want a barrier between the viewer and the artwork, not to mention the expense of custom glass frames. Doing some research online, I came across Ampersand's Aquabords. These seemed to be the perfect solution for what I wanted to do. I picked some up several years ago and they have been a game changer in my artwork practice. I would say at this point 85 percent of my artworks are on Ampersand Panels. Usually Aquabord, though I have also used Gessobord and Hardbord as of late," she shares.  Lynnette works with ink, acrylic and sometimes unique materials like Pysanky eggshells.  Her subjects, passions and media come together as a story all in one striking piece.

El Pulpo, 12" x 12", ink and acrylic on Gessobord
This coming July, Lynnette will be part of a Philadelphia exhibit, DNC Donkeys Around Town, featuring 28 artists who have painted 57 life-size fiberglass donkeys, representing the fifty states, six U.S. territories and Washington, D.C. The exhibit, for the Democratic National Convention, will be displayed around Philadelphia at popular tourist spots and Lynnette will be featuring Missouri and Oklahoma for her two donkeys.  However, if you would like to see Lynnette's work on panels, or purchase her work, you can find her in numerous places.
Lynnette regularly exhibits her work and is represented by (and co-curates) at the JAM Gallery in Malvern, PA and also by Mala Galleria in Kennett Square, PA.  You can keep up with her current work on our Facebook Group where she posts frequently, or you can find her full exhibition schedule on her website:

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Current Events with Encaustics & Ampersand Artists

There is always a lot going on with exhibitions, workshops, book releases and awards with our followers and Ampersand artists.  This month, encaustic artists, Bonny Leibowitz and Elise Wagner both have great happenings in their regions.

Announcing a new 2 day workshop with T.E. Siewert at The Encaustic Center in Richardson, TX. The workshop, Cold Wax and Oil Expressions: "Exercising your Artistic Voice" will run August 27th and 28th many of the materials supplied,  including Ampersand Gessobord™.  This is an exploratory class to demonstrate and allow students to engage cold wax medium with oil paint.  The instructor will demonstrate various techniques and work individually with each student to develop color palette and basic compositions.  For more information, the details are coming to The Encaustic Center website.

Elise Wagner "Genesis"
work from Elise Wagner's "Genesis" exhibition
Portland Artist, Elise Wagner has a solo exhibit, "Genesis" running now through May 28th at the Butters Gallery in Portland, Oregon.  She uses encaustic painting and a unique printing process called "encaustic collagraph" to create her complex, layered artwork.  

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.