Crafts Crafts

Scratchbord Art Class

In my continuing effort to try and give my kids a well-rounded education in as many art forms as I can, yesterday we tried our hand at Scratchbord art.

My First Attempt at Scratchbord

Now this is an art that I had never done before, but taking from my “lessons learned from lack of preparation” in my first Encaustic Wax Painting class, I did try this before I sat down with the kids. It’s nice if the teacher is at least slightly familiar with what she’s teaching before class starts, don’t you think? I also prepared myself in advance by printing out lots of different examples of scratchbord art, trying to find at least one piece that I thought each child would want to try themselves.

Scratchbord is a piece of cardboard similar to poster board that has been coated on one side with a layer of hard white chalk. The artist paints, rolls, or sprays black ink onto the surface. After the ink dries, the artist scratches through the ink with a sharp stylus or knife, creating white marks or lines by exposing the chalk underneath. Although it is possible to make your own scratchbord, it can be purchased pre-made, and you can bet that is what I did.

It seems to be getting harder and harder to even find a night when all three children have enough time to do this; between Lacrosse, music lessons, and dance class, my family has become one dynamic motion from 3:30 on every day.

Everyone started off with their chosen artwork printed out to the same size as the scratchbord. Scratchbord comes in all different sizes, but I had the 8″x8″ size and the 5″x7″ size. We taped the artwork down to the scatchbord, and then using the sharpest tool we had in our Scratchbord toolkit, we dug through the paper into the Scratchbord just until we had the very barest of outlines of the drawing. From there it was all freehand.

It’s really just amazing how much the kids enjoy this. I haven’t seen concentration like this in a long time.

Evan's working on his squirrel

Maia's Shaggy Dog

India's working on a horse

I'm working on a bird's nest.

And this is what they ended up with.

I’m still working on my nest, but this is what I’ve got so far.

Good, quality family time and we get to learn something at the same time! The kids are always excited to see what I’m going to do for the next class.

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