Leonard Everett Fisher
A crop of Leonard Everett Fisher's art from Malachy Gold. Click through to enlarge.
Scratchboard is etching artwork into clay, which can be combined with paint or ink.
Scratchboard is a medium and a surface which consists of a panel coated with black clay or black ink overtop a layer of white clay. The artist scratches away the black top layer to create the image. The technique is very similar to an etching but allows more freedom in the use of additional mediums. Often used with India ink, artists can use gouache, watercolor, oil, and acrylic with scratchboard.
Youtube Tutorial on Scratchboard - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWiPTfgFcNk
Barbara Cooney: A Crowell Holiday Book Christmas
This work exemplifies early scratchboard technique in black and white. Cooney used this technique for very fine detail in these illustrations. A Caldecott award-winner, Cooney used scratchboard in many of her works and was accomplished in other techniques as well.
Leonard Everett Fisher: Malachy’s Gold
Leonard Everett Fisher produced more than 6,000 scratchboard illustrations in children’s books. Fisher’s meticulous ‘line’ and detailed images echoed his father’s necessary perfection of military blueprints.
Don Freeman: A Pocket for Corduroy
Freeman wrote and illustrated this follow-up to his successful Corduroy. Using scratchboard technique, he then painted over with color wash. He also used full four-color separation, doing the coloring by hand.
Beth Krommes: Before Morning
In Krommes’ scratchboard, the more lines drawn, the brighter the picture becomes.
She enjoyed working in black and white but found that this limitted palate wasnot suited for every assignment. To add color to scratchboard illustrations, she photocopied the finished black-and-white scratchboard onto acid-free paper, photo-mounted the paper onto an acid-free bristol board, and added color with watercolor.
In the pieces shown, Krommes used scratchboard-with-watercolor to create a quiet color palette, filled with detail.
Brian Pinkney: Duke Ellington
Brian Pinkney used the scratchboard technique to create many of his illustrations. Rather than adding black lines or paint to a white canvas or paper, he subtracted; it was almost like drawing in reverse. Starting with a white board covered in black ink, Brian used sharp tools to scratch away the ink to expose the white board below, creating white lines that emerged to form the image he is trying to portray. “Working in scratchboard is like drawing, etching, and sculpting all at the same time,” said Pinkney. He added the color last, using a new technique by tinting the black-and-white images with Luma dyes (liquid watercolor), then painting on top with acrylic.