Creating Fine Art from Scratch
The show will consist of only scratchboard artwork. Scratchboard is a board covered with a thin layer of white clay that is afterward coated with black Indian ink. The board itself comes either with a posterboard backing, or a hardboard support. While the posterboard does have its uses, as it can be easily cut into size, the hardboard is much more superior, giving greater stability to the work, allowing for more layering of scratches, also being able to be corrected more often. It is more durable and easier to scratch into for cleaner, crisper details and lines. Several tools have been created specifically for scratchboard; however, any sharp implement will do though a range of blades of different thicknesses allows the removal of more or less of the ink at will. Isopropyl Alcohol on a cotton swab or cotton ball, sandpaper; and non-oily, fine, and steel wool are also useful for removing large areas; and for creating texture. Coloring scratchboard, black scratchboards or white scratchboards (clayboards), can be done with many paint media applied with paint brush, air brush, and even cotton balls. Special scratchboard inks as well as watercolor, can be added to the white areas and then scratched again for additional highlights and volume for added dimension. Although extremely time consuming, finely detailed artwork can be accomplished.
In 2011, the International Society of Scratchboard Artists (ISSA) was launched to help promote scratchboard art as a fine art medium, as well as to help educate the public about the medium. The organization holds at least one annual exhibition dedicated exclusively to scratchboard art in a gallery or museum each year.