My Tools

My favorite art medium is Clay board (also called Scratch board.)  When I begin each engraving,
there is an immediate sense of gratification as I watch the little curls of ink and clay drift away as I work.
I can alreadysee the finished art in my head —
and I am filled with anticipation for when I can see
the finished artwork in person. It feels like opening
a long-anticipated gift, and in many ways, it is.

 

I've had a love affair with this medium from the moment I engraved my first illustration on it. I've tried the plain, white Scratchbord and inked it myself, but I prefer the smooth, pre-inked surface of the Scratchbord Black.

 

The Scratchbord tool kit is a great way to experiment with textures that you'd like to see in your etching. As you progress, you can get better knife handles to work with. The one I use has a soft cork grip on it, making it a softer surface for working with elaborate and time-consuming engravings.

 

When my engraving is complete, I do a color wash with Daler-Rowney FW Acrylic inks. I use them exactly as I would liquid watercolors. I mix tiny drops of color on my watercolor palette and mix them with water. I prefer transparent inks over watercolors when coloring my engravings, because the inks don't make my black engraving cloudy. And when the acrylic inks dry, they are completely waterproof. If you are worried about messing up your original engraving, I recommend scanning your original and printing it onto watercolor paper or another thick paper and practice on that. That would also allow you to do limited-edition, hand-painted, semi-originals.

Once your original has its color wash applied and dried, you can remove additional highlights with your engraving tool for a lovely effect.

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John 15:5

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can
do nothing.