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About Scratchboard

About Scratchboard

Scratchboard Art is an art form in which dark ink is scratched off the board to reveal a white or colored layer underneath it.


Scratchboard, also known as scraperboard, is a black-and-white drawing medium. The board itself is cardboard or panel with a thin coating of fine, white clay covered by a layer of India ink. The drawing surface starts completely black and the technique is scratching white lines through the ink with a sharp tool, such as a scratchboard nib held in a pen holder.


  • Speedball tip#113 (scoop shape) - for widest
  • Speedball tip#112 (pointed tip) – for wide to medium lines
  • Small Fiberglass Brush – for softer effect
  • #11 scalpel Blade - for finest lines
  • #11 Exacto Blade – for fine to medium lines
  • Steel wool

The more lines one draws, the brighter the picture becomes. A scratchboard drawing is often very highly detailed, can resemble a wood engraving but it is not a print medium.

About the Medium:

My scratchboard of choice is now Clay board by Ampersand. This is by far the best-quality scratchboard that has ever been made. It’s a durable board made out of masonite. It’s covered with a fine layer of a clay-like substance, and then coated with black india ink. The clay coating under the ink makes the scratching smooth and delicate.