drawing, scratchboard


There were beautiful dogwood trees in flower in Toronto over the past few weeks. I love the shape of the petals and included them in a scratchboard drawing I made recently.

Dogwood in Toronto, 2021

Although I’ve made several scratchboard drawings, I’m just learning about the medium. I’m not someone who usually takes courses in a new medium ahead of time. So I’m doing what I usually do. That is, I generally jump in and learn as I go. I could probably save myself a lot of trouble, but…

What I discovered as I created Dogwood is that, depending on the depth of the marks I made, traces of them remained visible in the finished piece. I was actually making a shallow relief image in places. The link to carving linoleum and wood returns!

In Dogwood, I originally had images of eyes on each petal that I decided to remove as I worked. Yet, they remain as traces of white on white with slight shadows from different angles. Perhaps I can use this property deliberately in the future and make the ghosts of earlier images stand out in a more defined way. Also, I am reminded to first make very light marks as I develop an image. I often only have a rough idea of the design I want to create. I prefer to develop it as I work which keeps the process more interesting and challenging for me.

Dogwood, Scratchboard Drawing, 5″ x 7″
by Lily S. May, 2021

6 thoughts on “Dogwood–Learning”

  1. I just love these scratchboards…I am going to have to try it in the fall. I am intrigued to try making my own scratchboard, with possible background variation (shades of white/sepia?). Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Merci beaucoup, Francois, for your kind words about my being a born carver! And, I’m enjoying my new icon too. It’s from a relief print from 2019.

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