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Welcome to the dark side

Part 2 Following a discussion on materials and techniques last month, Jenny Dalleywater takes you through the making of a scratchboard portrait


Understand scratchboard and its possibilities

First steps working in negative

Creating texture and depth in your scratchboard


Your reference material for this demonstration: Pepsi the cat

Scratchboard is not well known in the UK – something I am trying to change! It is a way of working in negative, black to white, and is a form of direct engraving, using a hard masonite board, which has a layer of white clay, finished with black ink. Working with sharp or abrasive tools, the black ink is scratched off to reveal the white clay underneath. The board can take an amazing amount of detail and is much more forgiving than you might think and, providing you don’t scratch down to the board, you can generally cover up mistakes with black India ink and then re-scratch. There is so much more to share with you about this fascinating medium than I have space for here, but I hope the following demonstration gives you a flavour and desire to try it for yourself. For detail freaks, it is very satisfying.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the June issue of Leisure Painter. Aimed at beginner and amateur painters, you will find everything from watercolour flowers, animals and landscapes to introductions to water-mixable oils and miniature portraits, coloured pencil techniques for drawing a still life with just four colours, drawing ideas, step-by-step acrylics and oils, and a scratchboard demonstration of a cat. Find out about the latest exhibitions, books and art club activities and join in our competitions to win fantastic prizes.