Value, Value, Value: Intro to Scratchboard with Rhonda Nass
Sat-Sun, May 14-15, 2022 | 9am-4pm both days | Deadline to register: May 4, 2022
Scratchboard, as in black and white photography, draws its drama by including the widest range of light to dark in each “painting.” The process itself is as basic as drawing with a pencil. The artist uses a knife instead of a pencil and applies the strokes to a panel coated with black india ink over white clay instead of applying to white paper. With each stroke of the knife blade, a scratch removes the black ink revealing the white beneath. The challenge is to remember you are creating various grey tones all the way to white (depending on the amount of scratching you do to remove the black). It is a thrill mid-process because your imagery emerges with each stroke. I love it and am sure you will, too. We’ll be initially inspired by viewing contemporary scratchboard artists’ works, then do an exercise to gain confidence in removing a wide range of black and creating those grey tones, and finally on the second day we’ll do a quick review of composition and be starting our own artworks using our chosen subject matter and an excellent composition. (For people who use stroking in other media, this will be a breeze.) Eager to have fun together!
Supplies provided as part of the $15 materials fee:
- Scratchboard: two 6×6″ panels of black (already inked) Ampersand Clayboard Scratchboards
- Knife and blades: One xacto knife with three #11 blades
- Black pen: One #02 black micron pen for repairs
- Tracing/transfer paper: Two sheets of translucent vellum paper, plus one protective sheet to avoid hand oils on scratchboard
Supplies to bring with you:
- One graphite pencil (No. 2, HB, or F)
- Masking tape
- Piece of cotton or soft, non-textural fabric (can be ripped portion of old t-shirt, socks, etc. This will be used to wipe your knife blade)
- Hake or soft brush/feather, etc: Something soft to gently brush off blade cut residuals without scratching
- Patience, patience, patience
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: If you are a novice drawer, please bring your own close-up photographs of subject matter that interests you. By close-up I mean one flower bloom or two rocks for example, as opposed to a distanced full plant with several bloom clusters or a shoreline with added complexity. In the workshop we want to focus on learning the technique by focusing on our interpretation of a simple subject. If you are a veteran drawer, you have an additional option to bring in a “live” subject matter, such as a prop, for direct source material. Please no live plants or insects.
Our goal is to get the most experience scratching with blades on board in the two days to gain enough confidence to complete the piece you’ve begun in class on your own. To assess your experience, please bring 3-4 samples of your artwork to date. If you have no work, that is fine! You’ll soon have at least one! Relax and get inspired!
If a class is cancelled due to low enrollment, you’ll be notified immediately and refunded entirely. Please review our cancellation policy here.
Here at River Arts, your safety is the most important thing for us. We plan to run studio classes, but with the following safety precautions added:
- A limit of 7 students in each class
- All students will work at their own 6ft table, maintaining social distancing
- Studio staff will clean and disinfect all surfaces at the end of each day.
- Latex-free rubber gloves, disposable masks, and hand sanitizer will be available to all students free of charge
- Face masks required for students and instructor
- We’ve also updated our cancellation policy
We plan to keep these measures in place for the foreseeable future, depending on where things are at. It’s very much a day-by-day process at this point. Thank you!