drawing, scratchboard

Spirit of the Leaf

I was working on a 9″ x 12″ scratchboard drawing that became very complex and regularly entailed long periods of contemplation before knowing how to proceed. Earlier this week I decided to take out a small scratchboard–5″ x 7″–to take a break from the larger image. This is what I came up with. It followed from some of the fanciful drawings I’ve been doing in the evenings as my husband and I listen to audio books. After listening to the entire Anna Karenina (38 hours!) that we’d both previously read, we have returned to mysteries. We got a great recommendation for Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano series that, happily, is available through our library system.

Spirit of the Leaf–5″ x 7″ Scratchboard Drawing © Lily S. May, 2021

*You can also see some of my work at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/artsofmay/ *

6 thoughts on “Spirit of the Leaf”

  1. I have never done a scratchboard drawing, you kind of “carve” a drawing on a board that has been painted white, than black…? What kind of board are you using? Tools? Paint? It is very nice, and again, whatever trick you do, the printing effect is never far!

    1. Hi Francois. At first I used coated paper but it had a layer of film on it that I was unaware of until too late when it separated from the paper. So I’m now using ampersand archival panels. They’re a board that’s coated with a layer of white clay, then india ink. You scratch the india ink away to reveal the white clay underneath. I bought some simple nibs at my art supply store that fit into a pen-like holder. I’m now also using a japanese printing knife. Anything with a point will do–I’ve experimented with a nail and several people recommend using exacto knives. Because I love the look of prints, that’s what comes out in these drawings. Thank you. Lily

  2. Scraper board was the common name here and it is still used as a commercial medium for some very precise work. John
    PS If you like Inspector Montalbano try the Commisario Brunetti stories. They are set in Venice and by Donna Leon, a wonderful series.

    1. Thank you for the detective tip. I’ve seen some very detailed work online (actually pretty astonishing stuff) using scratchboard/scraper board.

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