Spotlight Technique

Scratchboard with Sue Kroll

art by Gloria Chadwick

Remember when you were a kid and you colored on a piece of paper then covered it with black paint. Once the paper dried, you scratched the black surface off with a pin and made some pretty interesting art!

Today, scratchboard is considered a fine art form with clubs, societies, and organizations uplifting this medium to new levels of sophistication. Sue Kroll, one of the featured artists in the Wildlife and Landscape show, discusses how Scratchboard art is achieved today. She states, “Scratchboard is an old art form that is re-emerging as Fine Art. Initially it was just scratches into rocks and clay tablets. Over the centuries it developed into a style of engraving for printing, such as newspaper illustrations in the early 1900s, up to the style you now see in galleries and shows.”

Sue expands her thoughts on techniques: “Today the Scratchboard is a flat surface (such as paper or a thin board) that is coated with a thin layer of white clay then covered in ink. A design is ‘etched’ or scratched through the ink exposing the white clay underneath. If you wish to add color it is done as washes as you continue to scratch, or all at once when it is finished.”

Don’t miss Sue as she demonstrates her scratchboard techniques during the
Wildlife & Landscape show, 12 noon – 1pm on Saturday, October 17.

Learn more about Gloria Chadwick on her website and her blog.

Learn more about Scratchboard art at