September 5th, 2009


Fun with art

Today I decided to flex my artistic muscles. Some of you know I do a bit of sketching and those who didn't know .  . . now you do.

Many moons ago I used to oil paint, water color, acrylic paint, but once I had kids, I set these art mediums aside (no time). The one medium I kept was my pencil sketching.

Lately, I've felt the desire to get back into that side of my life, but I didn't know what medium to try. Oil paints are expensive, watercolor and acrylic can also be on the expensive side (brushes, paint, canvas/watercolor paper, etc.).

Last Saturday, I went to a local art gallery to get a piece of glass for a picture frame. I didn't get a piece of glass, but I did buy this:

Rose box

It's a little wooden box with a rose. Carole Snyder is the artist. The picture doesn't do it justice. I couldn't take my eyes off it. I love roses, but there was something more to it. I couldn't figure out what medium had been used so I asked one of the people in the gallery. It happened to be the artist, herself!

Carole told me she had done it on scratchboard then colored it with ink used for coloring scratch art.

I asked her what the heck scratchboard was and she explained it's a piece of either cardboard or, in the case of the box, claybord covered with black india ink. The image is created by scratching away the black ink. In the case of the rose, Carole then went back with ink and colored the image.

I did some research and discovered it's a relatively inexpensive medium (I found I can get a good start with tools and three 5x7 scratchboards for around $20). I ordered a kit from It's a picture of a squid attacking a boat. The picture is pre-inked onto the cardboard and a tool is included to scratch away the colored ink, thus revealing the image.

Anyway, the kit included a small square of scratchboard to use for practice (to get the hang of using the tool). I opted not to practice but dove right into the squid picture. After doing it for a bit, I decided it was fairly simple and figured I could use the small "practice" square to do my own art.

I decided to do a unicorn . . . well, a unicorn head. As I started scratching, I discovered the board underneath the ink wasn't white, but silver. It still turned out okay, though I won't be able to color it. Anyway, here it is:

Scratch art unicorn

The picture doesn't show all the detail. It's really kind of cool looking. Anyway, it took me about 20 minutes to do and isn't bad for a first attempt, in my opinion. And most of all, it was fun!

So, I think I've found a new medium.


Scratch on!