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Re: scratch art

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From: Jerry Vilenski (jvilensk_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu May 09 2002 - 20:22:15 PDT


Making scratch art boards is always difficult, because they are a fairly delicate balance of elements that resist each other: wax or oil and liquid. The most success I
have had is by using wax crayons, colored on tag board in a thick layer. Oil pastels sound great, but I think they are too oily and will not hold the layer of liquid
black. What you put on the crayon is the trick--I have used Dick Blick Black Cat India Ink for over 20 years. It is the only ink I know of that has the right
properties that allow it to stick to the slick waxy surface. I have tried other, more expensive inks, but the results have been dismal. Depending on the type and
thickness of crayons, Black Cat will adhere to the board just fine without soap, but if you get a particularly soft crayon, you may need a dab. I have found a
technique for working with ink on crayon that you might find useful. Because liquid won't readily stick to the crayon, I place a glob of ink in the middle of the board,
then have students spread the ink in ever widening circles. It is sort of "stretching" the ink across the page. When the ink has covered the page, let it dry until
around half the ink is dull in color, then brush the remaining ink onto the dry stuff. This prevents wells of ink from forming, which later will flake off. I use
steel scratch pens, rounded style, to scratch the drawing into the board. Hope this helps.

Jerry

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