Claybord™ can be coated with inks and used like a traditional scratchboard. The advantage to using Claybord as a scratchboard is that you can control the tonal variations unlike using a traditional black scratchboard. Claybord is also more forgiving than paper scratchboards. The surface can be scratched and painted many times without compromising the quality of the surface. Try this exercise and see how easy it is to do.
1. Begin by coating the panel with an even layer of India ink. The inks should be shaken and diluted slightly before applying to allow for even coverage. To achieve a very even coat of ink, an air brush should be used. If an airbrush is unavailable use cotton balls, paper towels, a sponge brush, or a large soft bristle brush to apply the ink.
2. Allow the ink to dry. You will see the ink absorbing into the surface. Your board will be dry in a few minutes.
3. Use a soft graphite pencil to sketch the image on top of the coated board. This sketch should be used as a pattern for cutting. It does not have to be very detailed.
4. Use a scratchboard knife like a pen to cut into the surface and remove the ink leaving crisp white lines. Additional scraping tools and steel wool can be used to render detail and create texture. Not much pressure is needed to remove the ink because it remains on the surface of the clay.
5. If necessary, more ink can be applied to an area to cover-up 'mistakes' and to allow you to begin again.
6. When finished, the board can be sprayed with a spray fixative like Krylon® UV Resistant Clear Coating #1309 (Matte) or #1305 (Gloss) and framed without glass!.
Written by Charles Ewing
More work and articles by Charles in upcoming blog posts.
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