Linda Heath Clark

"Life" – Work In Progress Images

Acrylic on Ampersand Claybord
11" x 14"

Using acrylic on Claybord, my goal is to balance capturing fine detail with modeling overall form. The final effect is achieved by alternating layers of acrylic, scratching through to the white clay surface below and reapplying thin washes of acrylic paint. Scratching creates highlights and adds detail, washes of acrylic add color, contour, and shadow. Although I do not approach every subject exactly the same, the work in progress images below show my process for the piece I call "Life".

For more information about the scratchboard technique and to see beautiful examples, visit the International Society of Scratchboard Artists website.

First, I roughly blocked in the flower shapes with thinned down acrylic. (I use a clear acrylic thinner and water to thin the acrylic.) The acrylic needs to be thinned enough to scratch through.

This image shows the green flower shapes covered with liquid frisket in preparation for airbrushing the background.


		Two white flowers, Acrylic on Scratchboard

This image shows the airbrushed background. You can see the reflection of the frisket still covering the flowers.


		Two white flowers, Acrylic on Scratchboard

In this image, I have removed the frisket to reveal the roughly painted flower shapes.

I used white transfer paper to trace basic details back onto the painted surface. You can see the white lines from the tracing.


		Two white flowers, Acrylic on Scratchboard

Here, I have half way finished the first layer of scratching. A few of the flowers in the lower left have not been scratched yet.

The tools I used were x-acto knives, scalpels, fiber glass brushes, tattoo needles, and steel wool.


		Two white flowers, Acrylic on Scratchboard

The finished first layer of scratching looks like a ghost image of the final piece.

I tend to over scratch this layer.


		Two white flowers, Acrylic on Scratchboard

Once I completed a pretty thorough layer of scratching, I added washes of acrylic to add color. To create washes I use more water and a clear thinner to thin down the acrylic to watercolor consistency. I then scratched the highlights back in.


		Two white flowers, Acrylic on Scratchboard

To arrive at the final piece, I completed several alternating layers of acrylic washes and scratching until the piece felt finished.


		Two white flowers, Acrylic on Scratchboard