Posts Tagged ‘homemade scratchboard’

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Finished Drawing – Accordian Player

June 11, 2009

Here’s the finished drawing that was started a couple days ago as part of my homemade scratchboard demonstration. It is 8 x 10 inches.

raythibdo 

The ink used is Dr. Martin’s Black Star and a ZIG Calligraphy marker for touch-ups. The bulk of the white areas were made with a Staedtler Mars eraser, and a needle was used for scratching finer lines. The rough texture is a result of the paper surface. A smoother paper would erase without such a mottled look.

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Making Scratchboard From Paper – part 2

June 10, 2009

Concluding my post from yesterday, I’m showing my tests for scratching and erasing ink markers on shellac paper and primer. All of these use pigmented, lightfast, archival inks. If you test any other markers on your own, I’d recommend they be non-water soluble (water-proof or oil based) to adhere best on the shellac surfaces. These tests were on the same papers as the liquid inks that was shown yesterday.

These are the brush markers tested:
Faber-Castell PITT Sepia Artist Marker, Marvy Le Plume, Sakura Pigma Brush Pen, and Kuretake ZIG Calligraphy marker

PITT brush pen

PITT brush pen

Marvy Le Plume

Marvy Le Plume

Pigma Brush Pen

Pigma Brush Pen

ZIG Calligraphy

ZIG Calligraphy

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The best overall were the ZIG and PITT pens. Those two also dried more slowly than the others, which may account for their being easier to scratch. The effect was more like pushing or wiping the ink rather than scraping it, in this case. Although, even once they completelty dried they worked fine. They also erased the easiest.

The ZIG marker dried very black and the scratched lines were the cleanest of all. The Pigma and Le Plume brushes both dried quickly but were very gray on the primer and would not scratch or erase easily on either surface. The Le Plume marker in particular had a crackling effect as it dried similar to the Deleter liquid ink.


These are the liner pens tested:
PITT Artist Pen (Black,) Prismacolor Premier Line Marker, Sakura Pigma Micron, Staedtler Pigment Liner

PITT Artist Pen

PITT Artist Pen

Prismacolor Liner

Prismacolor Liner

Pigma Micron Pen

Pigma Micron Pen

Staedtler Liner

Staedtler Liner

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As with most things in life I suppose, not everything is interchangeable, so one pen is not like another. Although these are fine pens, just as with the other tests, the results differ. The Micron and Staedtler pens don’t scratch very well on the primer paper, but do very well on the shellac. The Prismacolor did very well on the primer, but not so well on the shellac. The PITT pen did not do well on either surface, which surprised me since the brushes did well. The ink seemed to bead up a bit on the shellac surface with all these pens, but was fine on the primer. No beading with the brush tips. The Prismacolor pen didn’t seem as dark as the others. Utimately, on the shellac surface the Micron seemed to be the best liner pen, and the Prismacolor worked best on the primed surface.

A separate note about papers: as I mentioned, the drawing in yesterday’s post was made on Multimedia Artboard, which is a favorite support of mine. It has a very hard surface, and if you happen to scratch down to it, it won’t become easily damaged as regular paper would. Another surface I’m playing with is synthetic film, such as Mylar and Yupo. Shellac seems to adhere very well to this, which surprised me, although it will scratch off if you go down too far.

Another note about shellac: the 3# shellac I used is amber in color just because that was what I had available in that weight. More than one coat may improve the test results, but also make an even darker surface color. Clear shellac is virtually colorless, and a lighter weight might work just as well. The pigment used for the primer could also be any other color besides white. I’m a bit surprised by how strong this shellac “gesso” is, and may give it tests for painting on as well. There are also pre-mixed commercial brands of shellac primers on the market, such as BIN from Zinsser, but I don’t know how they make it, or the type of shellac used (it appears to have wax content,) so I prefer to make my own which is quite easy to do.

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Ink: Making Scratchboard From Paper

June 9, 2009

Does your ink drawing have an itch? Would you like to be able to remove ink lines without having to gouge away paper along with it or mess with white paint? There are commercial scratchboards on the market that will allow you to do this (Ampersand’s Scratchbord for example,) but I have found a method to accomplish the same look using just paper. The source is my favorite magical finishing material, shellac.

Drawing in progress

Drawing in progress


Detail of drawing

Detail of drawing

Here’s a drawing in progress that shows an example of the effect. It’s made on a sheet of Multimedia Artboard with a wash of Dr. Martin’s Black Star India Ink on a single coat of shellac primer over casein paint. This first started out as a casein painting that I was unhappy with, so I covered it with the primer and make it into a drawing instead. (Question to ponder: is an ink wash actually a drawing or a painting? – Discuss…)

The materials used for my testing were as follows:
Smooth 140# Watercolor paper
3 pound blond shellac, and 2 pound blond shellac made into a primer
Scratching tools: solder tool with screwdriver and wire brush tips,
white Staedtler “Mars” eraser,
various brands of liquid ink

Some of the tools used

Some of the tools used

The surfaces were two small (A4 size) sheets of watercolor paper. One was prepared with a single coat of shellac (3# weight) and another with a primer made of 2# blond shellac. The primer was made by adding titanium white pigment and marble dust in equal amounts to an equal volume of shellac. It was applied in two coats. Both surfaces were given sufficient time to dry before inking, about 30 minutes.

The results on each surface varied depending on the inks used. For example, on the primer the sumi ink scratches very well, but won’t stick at all to the shellac paper. Deleter ink had problems on the primer, but worked fine on the shellac.

Liquid Inks tested (all were applied undiluted: )
Deleter #3, Dr. Martin’s Black Star, Higgins Black Magic, Pelikan Drawing Ink A, Sennelier Sepia, Speedball Super Black, Yasutomo Liquid Sumi Ink

Deleter

Deleter


Deleter on primer

Deleter on primer


Dr. Martin's

Dr. Martin's


Higgins

Higgins


Pelikan Ink

Pelikan Ink


Sennelier Sepia Ink

Sennelier Sepia Ink


Speedbal Super Black

Speedbal Super Black


Sumi Ink

Sumi Ink


Sumi on primer

Sumi on primer


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Although the Deleter ink has a crackled surface on the primer, it doesn’t seem to be flaking off; unfortunately, it doesn’t scratch off very well on either surface. Dr. Martin’s has a lighter value than the others and would need multiple layers to be darker. It scratches off easily but not too cleanly. It was, however, the easiest to erase which removes a larger area of ink (see my drawing example above.) Speedball performed the same as Dr. Martin’s but it’s a darker ink. Both Higgins and Pelikan scratched a little easier, but didn’t erase as well. The sumi would not erase at all, but was the easiest to scratch away, and you can see that it will only adhere to the primer, not the shellac by itself. All these liquid inks dried quickly on both surfaces.

In conclusion, if you want to use liquid ink that both scratches and erases easily, try either Dr. Martin’s or Speedball. Erasing is harder to do on the shellac, easier on the primer. If you only want to scratch lines, the sumi ink was best followed by Pelikan, or Higgins.

Next time I’ll post results from testing pigmented ink markers and my recommendations.

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