Give A Gift of Art

Scratchboard to show sizeMy "BLACK FRIDAY SPECIALS" are a unique selection of new, original Mini Artwork. I've done a variety of subjects, different media, and different prices - ready for you to select your favorites. These are perfect for gift-giving, and I'll wrap, enclose a card and ship FREE to your lucky recipient... a great option especially if you won't be able to be with family and friends for the holidays this year.

These 8 panels are all one-of-a-kind ORIGINAL ART which I created this year. They are done on rigid Ampersand panels, so framing is optional, especially if you display them on a small easel.

I will take orders ONLY VIA EMAIL:
and they will be on a first-come, first-serve basis, so don't delay! 

Email me with which artwork you want to buy and we'll connect for the rest of the details.

NOTE: No orders from blog or Facebook comments, or from messaging.

Here's what's available:

Eye of the Tiger and Scrimshaw Tree

NIght Bubbles and Forest Bubbles

Lake View and Teal Forest
The Eagle Has Landed (SOLD) and Starry Night

It's Time For 2021 Calendars

New artwork on Judy's 2021 calendar
Hot off the press, my 2021 Fine Art calendar. Perfect reproductions of 13 of my newest paintings, including watercolors, inks, and scratchboards. Enjoy a beautiful image each month, in a 8.5" x 6.5" folded size, ready to hang in a handy spot. Great for gift-giving or to keep for yourself
Each calendar is $15, plus shipping:
For 1, add $4.75
For 2, add $5.45
For 3, add $8.25
For 4 or 5, add $10.90
Order more than 5 for free shipping! 
Contact Judy for your calendars:


Now Showing... Scratchboards!


Ironwood Gallery Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Tucson AZ
If you are anywhere near Tucson Arizona in the next few months, stop and see a fabulous gallery show of the finest scratchboard art in the world! I am proud to be one of 48 artists included in the 9th Annual Exhibition 2020 of the International Society of Scratchboard Artists, with two of my newest scratchboards having been selected to be among only 40 in the Open category. 

Exhibition poster
The exhibition catalog beautifully illustrates the amazing work of scratchboard artists from many nations, with 8 artists who have achieved "Master" status in the ISSA. Just let me know if you would like a digital pdf file of the 44-page catalog to peruse. My artwork "Locked in Time" and "Ruby Throated Hummer" are being featured at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum from now through February 7, 2021. Here are the details:

Ironwood Gallery at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museu
2021 N. Kinney Rd., Tucson AZ 85743 U.S.A. • Phone (520) 883-3024
Current Hours: Mondays-Saturdays | 10:00 am – 3:30 pm (check website for updates) 

ISSA catalog page with two exhibition scratchboards by Judy Lavoie


Special Pre-Holiday Sale!


"The Real Santa" an original watercolor © Judy Lavoie 2019Do you know someone who truly loves Christmas? Here's a unique gift they will treasure every year, and it's now on sale.
    "The Real Santa" is my original watercolor painting, with Santa's warmth and cheer captured with my signature attention to detail.
    Buy it now, framed or unframed, and save over 15%. This is a one-of-a-kind gift, sure to please. Give it early so it can be enjoyed throughout the upcoming Christmas season. 
     Hey, if you love the holidays, buy it to treat yourself!
    Link here for the details and contact me by email to make your purchase:

I've Hit the News Stands - Twice

It's been more than a year since I first learned of my artwork being chosen among a select group to be featured in two eminent fine arts magazines. With the publisher changing ownership and adjustments due to the pandemic, both magazines were delayed from their original publish dates. Now they are out and my printed copies have arrived in my mailbox. I am proud to have my artwork honored in two mediums, acrylics and watercolor.
Best of Acrylics Magazine with "When She Was Three" painting by Judy Lavoie 
The Best of Acrylic… honors the 102 winning works of the AcrylicWorks 7 competition, with a theme of "color and light." The coffee-table magazine includes my acrylic painting "When She Was Three," one of my most frequently complimented paintings. The photo of my painting is accompanied by my comments about the painting process:  

"Acrylics were the ideal medium to capture the fabulous backlighting of this scene. I took numerous reference photos of little Aubrey as she played along the edge of the river, unaware of my presence. The soft wispy curls of her flyaway hair, the folds in her t-shirt, the fabric of her denim shorts, and the sparkles on the flowing water just cried out to be painted. I completed the entire scene except her hair, preserving the unpainted canvas there so the light would glow there. For the fine strands of her locks I used a swordliner brush, a 5" feather and an inexpensive 1/2" chip brush with the bristles cut unevenly. Swirls of blue-grey and gold tints were painted along with thin strokes of pure gesso. Between layers, transparent glazes over the gesso helped to build volume. Opaque blues and gesso made the water sparkle."

In addition to 'Winning Works by Today’s Top Acrylic Talents,' this magazine also includes these stories:

  • Kickstart Creativity | 3 Approaches to Painting That Can Trigger New Ideas
  • Strength in Numbers - Practical Tips for Working in a Series
  • Tips and guidance from experts to teach you how to paint your best

These artists are featured:  Cover artist Jana Leimane, Betsy Dillard Stroud, Mark E. Mehaffey and others.

The Best of Acrylic magazine can be purchased online or you can buy a digital download online, either for $14.99.

But wait, there's more....

Best of Watercolor Splash 21 Magazine with "Cows In The Corn" by Judy Lavoie 

The Best of Watercolor... honors the 124 extraordinary watercolor paintings from the Splash 21 competition winners, with a theme of "capturing mood." The coffee-table magazine includes my watercolor painting "Cows In The Corn." The photo of my painting is accompanied by my comments about the painting process:

"This title came to me before I started the painting, while thinking about children as an audience for my art. I've photographed many cows and selected this reference for her happy expression. I drove to a nearby field of corn for references for the background, and the husk in her mouth was from some corn I had bought to eat. I composed these elements and penciled in my drawing, then selected a limited palette of three primary pigments: Winsor Antwerp Blue, Winsor Red and Winsor Yellow. I spattered the paper with water then dribbled on the diluted colors, purposely preserving my lighter areas. This random mixings results in clean, vibrant hues. Darker mixes of the same colors were brushed in to define my subjects. The heavy paper allowed me to scratch with an x-acto knife to reveal whites for the eye, hair, whiskers and snout. "

In addition to 'hundreds or entries spanning five different categories and styles,' this magazine also includes these stories:

  • The #1 tool for boosting creativity
  • How to maximize the power of your palette
  • 5 simple techniques for enhancing the illusion of texture

    These artists are featured:  Cover artist Sharon Moroney, plus Stephen Quiller, John Salminen and others.

    The Best of Watercolor magazine can be purchased online or you can buy a digital download online, either for $14.99.

    Nothing To Lose

    You win some, you lose some. The stakes weren't too high; I missed out on 'bragging rights and a free t-shirt.' But I gained a whole lot more. The International Society of Scratchboard Artists (ISSA) just selected artwork for their commemorative 2020 Exhibition t-shirts... and mine wasn't chosen :-(

    I created "Anna's Fairy Duster" with realistic expectations. I knew anything I entered would be a long shot to win, with my limited experience of just two years doing scratchboards against the phenomenal scratchboards of the organization's international roster of artists with years of experience. But I love a new challenge, especially if there is competition involved!

    The required theme was 'Flora and Fauna of the Desert.' To stand out, I wanted my subject to be different from the obvious, but attractive on a t-shirt for males or females alike. I ruled out cactus, coyotes, snakes or lizards as my main subject, figuring they were too common. On a visit to Tucson in the late 1980s, the fauna which most amazed me were the variety and abundance of hummingbirds, as it is a major migratory route for these tiny birds. Many sizes, a gorgeous display of vibrant colors, huge numbers of individual birds at once. Birdwatchers Digest calls Southeastern Arizona "Hummingbird Heaven." So I had my main subject! In researching the desert flowers which hummingbirds frequent, I discovered one called Fairy Duster, a feathery white and pink flower which would lend itself perfectly to scratchboard techniques. Now I had both flora and fauna covered… almost. 
    In process "Anna's Fairy Duster" © Judy Lavoie 2020

    As a lifelong resident east of the Mississippi, I had neither of these subjects in my own photo references. Many of my art competitions require work from the artist's own photos when references are used, but the scratchboard rules generally do not (perhaps because so many scratchboard artists depict exotic animals). Of course, copyrights need to be followed, so an artist must be prepared to submit written permission from the photographer if using others' photos for reference. I browsed some two of my sources which offer reference photos to artists and didn't see any I liked. So I turned to Instagram and started doing hashtag (#) searches. Wow, I came up with oodles of beautiful hummingbirds, including Anna's Hummingbird, as well as Fairy Duster flowers. I was off and running.

    Any medium could be used for this contest. Since this is specifically for a scratchboard exhibition, it was a no-brainer that I'd work on the black and white scratchboard surface (even though white Clapbord™ is acceptable in the ISSA). Adding color is always an option, and I have used both watercolors and inks on scratchboards. I opted for colored inks on Scratchbord™ for my entry.

    I drew upon my 40+ years of experience as a graphic artist to create a unique composition. I've done several paintings in a square shape and rotated 45° to a diamond format, and I thought this would look terrific on a t-shirt - as well as being different from other art submitted to the contest. 

    Some of the past exhibition t-shirts were white, some black; either way I felt like my black scratchboard art would be better anchored if it had a border, so I started experimenting with possibilities. To tie in with the Sonora Desert theme (the exhibition is being held in Tucson AZ), I decided to adopt some motifs from Native American pottery and found some interesting samples from the Hohokam people which I could translate into a border. I did a lot of experimenting with the border design, shown in my photo. I wanted it to have a very simple primitive look in contrast with the realism of the main subject, the hummingbird and the flower. I created the final border design using Illustrator software (which I started using in 1987!!)

    As in much of my work, I wanted to use colors bright and bold. I chose to depict a male Anna's Hummingbird, one of the most frequently seen species seen in the Sonora Desert, whose neck feathers varied from bright magenta to orange to yellow. I'd incorporate the same colors into the border design, without letting it become overpowering. These colors would add vibrancy to the artwork.
    Magic Eraser Thin Sheets
    Also to help me stand out against the competition, I wanted to incorporate techniques not commonly used by other scratchboard artists. I've learned and used so many methods with decades of painting in watercolors and acrylics. In a recent scratchboard I created the look of an out of focus background by softly removing irregular spots with fiber brushes and coloring them to suggest sky, foliage and flowers. I wanted the same effect with this new painting, but leaving more of the background untouched. I've used Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to lift watercolor pigments from watercolor paper, so I experimented to see how a slightly dampened "Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Thin Sheet" would work to lift the black surface from the scratchboard. This is a 1/8" dense foam sheet with no added chemicals, and it is abrasive enough to clean soap scum off your shower! I held the end of a paintbrush under the thin sheet as I rubbed away small amounts of black in a circular motion, to reveal the white clay surface below. Success - these irregular fuzzy spots were just what I was aiming for.

    I scratched my entire composition before adding any color, primarily using a pointed etching tool for the bird's many textures and for the branches, leaves, wilted flowers. For the thicker lines of the Fairy Duster flower, I scratched with a Speedball pointed scratch tool. Where I knew I'd be applying solid (but transparent) colors to the bird, I scratched away to reveal more white area than I would if not adding any color. I used Ampersand Scratchbord Inks to add my brilliant colors. I've always found color mixing comes naturally, and my experience painting with limited palettes of primary colors helps me to mix a variety of hues from these beautifully transparent inks. I finished the artwork with a clear satin finish, a wide wood frame and a diamond orientation for hanging.

    "Anna's Fairy Duster" took me hours and hours and hours, with more than 50% of the time devoted to researching, acquiring references, and testing my ideas and techniques on practice boards. I even did another scratchboard painting, "Ruby Throated Hummer" to practice depicting a hummingbird. It was all worth it, because I accomplished my personal goals and created a new scratchboard painting like none I've done to date.

    © Alison Oman
    Despite all the method in my madness, "Anna's Fairy Duster" didn't win the t-shirt competition - but I am very proud to have been one of the top 5 finalists! The artwork chosen for the t-shirts is a magnificent scratchboard with a wide range of greyscale values and incredible feather textures, a vulture by artist Alison Oman.

    My thanks to two photographers for granting me permission to use their work as reference for this painting. For the awesome close-up of the male Anna's Hummingbird, thanks to Tammy Kokjohn (on Instagram @tammykokjohn), and to Jason Lane (Instagram @linearlane) for his perfect Fairy Duster flower.


    The Curator's Favorite Painting: Mine!

    Artist Judy Lavoie and her watercolor "What A Wonderful World" © 2020
    Chief curator of the Association for Visual Arts Gallery (AVA) in Chattanooga TN, Kreneshia Whiteside, ' "…says her favorite is "What a Wonderful World" by Judy Lavoie. "There is this one of a little boy blowing bubbles," she says. "I think it's so adorable." ' (Read the entire story from yesterday's Chattanooga Times Free Press.)

    Thirty paintings, specially selected from the original 72 juried into the 37th Biennial Exhibition of the Tennessee Watercolor Society, are on the move. The Traveling Show allows original art from some of the state's top artists to be viewed by a wider audience than might otherwise view the exhibition live.

    I am proud to have had my work selected for the main exhibition and, additionally, for the Traveling Show. I put my best effort into "What A Wonderful World" and attempted to incorporate these components into my painting:

    • Present a unique and unusual visual image
    • Explore and incorporate new techniques
    • Practice, practice before creating the final painting
    • Go big and bold (my photo shows how big it is!)
    • Compose the elements in the painting with striking color and strong design

    You can view all the paintings in the 2020 TnWS Exhibition online.

    Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no reception for the Traveling Show in Chattanooga. Masks are required to enter the AVA Gallery at 30 Frazier Ave. in Chattanooga's North Shore, and space is limited to no more than 10 visitors at a time. Hours are noon-5 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. For more information, call 423-265-4282 or visit their website. The show will travel to Customs House Museum & Cultural Center, Clarksville TN, from December 2, 2020 until Friday, January 22, 2021.

    Ruby Ruby

    Beautiful ruby throated hummingbirds - the most common species which migrates to Eastern North America - visit our feeders from early April through the beginning of October. I've done numerous paintings of them, in watercolor and acrylics, and it was time for me to try one on scratchboard.

    Steps to create "Ruby Throated Hummer" © Judy Lavoie 2020
    As demonstrated in my previous post, I created a border design on a 14" x 11" black Scratchbord™, using colors to match those I planned to use in the artwork. For the background to appear out-of-focus, I used an alcohol wipe which dissolves the india ink surface of the panel, blotting and rubbing randomly around the areas reserved for the bird and flower. I also rubbed off areas of black using circular motions with fiberglass brushes in two sizes, especially near the bird and flower (you can find sources of many of my tools in a post called Scratchboard 101).

    Next I applied colored inks in pink, green and blue shades over the fuzzy uncovered white areas. OH NO… the border I had worked so hard on looked awful!! I hated it so much that I removed it before remembering to take a photo of how badly it looked - sorry. The watercolors I had used in the border washed right off, and I carefully rubbed away the black stripes, again using rubbing alcohol. Voila, a clean white border area again. This time I used the same colored inks as in the painting, randomly applying them with elephant ear sponges and spattering with an old toothbrush. At the top I echoed the blue and green shades and at the bottom used pinks and greens.

    I scratched the fine details of the petunia and its foliage, capturing its shapes solely with gray values. I mixed the inks and painted in the flower colors. These Ampersand Scratchbord/Claybord inks are very transparent, mix well, thin with water, and dry insoluble. I find I only need to use a drop at a time, since I am usually painting small areas. I mix my inks in a 7-day pill organizer!

    The scratching of the hummingbird began next, with strokes in the direction of the feathers. Again, I've used the scratching to create a range of values, from white to black and many shades in between. To color his body, I used diluted black, diluted blue/green, a reddish pink, spots of beige, and mixtures of yellow/greens. The areas left pure white help draw the viewer's eye to the hummingbird as the focal point.

    Ink over black areas looks splotchy
    Time to finish the border, so I applied my blue pin striping tapes as shown in my previous post and sponged on undiluted black ink. Once dry and uncovered, I decided that the border was too busy and visually distracting to the hummingbird and flower. So first I covered and masked off the center area to protect the main painting while I did my border "fix." I sponged on more of the colored inks, to eliminate white areas. I let that dry then spattered black ink all over the border. That did the trick - the border now accented and framed the artwork without overpowering it. My whole painting looked more unified. Note, in my close-up photo here you can see the splotchiness of colored inks where I overlapped them onto black areas; this magically disappears when the final varnish is applied to the finished painting, another advantage of using these Ampersand inks over other brands.
    Typically I paint from my own reference photos, but hummingbirds are too fast moving for me to get good shots. So I researched an excellent online resource called Wildlife Reference Photos for Artists. There I found a terrific ruby throated hummingbird in flight as photographed by Rick Beldegreen. My use of the photo as a painting reference is allowed in the Terms of Use so I downloaded the image. It's an amazing deal…. 5 high resolution downloads for $10, and the available photography is of outstanding quality.

    This is one of two paintings of my latest scratchboard paintings juried into the 9th Annual International Scratchboard Artists Exhibition, which delights me! It also was done as a practice painting for another species of hummingbird I want to capture in scratchboard, Anna's Hummingbird. Watch for that blog post soon!


    HOW TO: Create a Colorful Border on Scratchbord™

    sample striped border on scratchboard by Judy Lavoie

    I'm relatively new to black scratchboard, having done my first one just 2 years ago. The lesson which follows does not adher to the purist's guideline for scratchboard, as reflected in this definition by the International Society of Scratchboard Artists: "...Sharp tools are used to remove, or “scratch”, through the black ink, revealing the white clay underneath." In this border I have not used any abrasive tools to remove the black layer (although I went on to do the artwork within the border conventionally.) All my art incorporates 40+ years of experimenting and learning, no matter what media I'm working with. Most of my art years have concentrated on watercolor on paper and acrylics on paper or canvas, and now I'm enjoying incorporating discoveries and techniques I've used with those media into my scratchboard art. Rules are made to be broken, right?!?!?

    On a new painting on black Ampersand Arts Scratchbord™ I decided to add a french-mat style border, for an affect similar to what I recently did on Ampersand's white Aquabord™ in "Rainbow Iris." The steps below detail my method, as illustrated in the photo collage. (I promise to share the finished painting in my next post.)

    The photos show my steps using a package of 3M Scotch Paint Striping Tape I've had for years. The roll is 40 feet long, so I'll have it for many more! I don't think the exact product still sold, but 3M manufactures another, improved, striping tape with options for how many or how wide you mask off fine lines, which would likely work in the same way as the one I used.

    collage of steps to creating a french-mat style border on scratchboard
    Here are details of my step-by-step photos:
    1-2) My tape fit in a 1-1/16" wide area. The black surface of Scratchbord is india ink, not soluble with water but removable with rubbing alcohol. I carefully masked around the area where I wanted my color border to appear, measuring in 5/8" from the outer edges of the Scratchbord so my effect wouldn't be covered by framing. To remove the black I used an alcohol wipe, sold for first aid. These small fiber squares are just slightly damp with alcohol, not so wet that it might seep below the masking tape. Wiping it carefully over the black surface dissolves and lifts off the ink, down to the pure white clay layer below. Removing the black surface this way results in a perfectly smooth white area, as Photo 2 shows.

    3-4) I covered the big black area in the center of my panel with paper, to protect it while I applied paint to the border. Scratchbord takes many different media for adding color, and I chose watercolor in this sample - knowing I could wash if off if I didn't like it! I mixed colors which would accent those in my painting, then applied them somewhat randomly with a coarse 'elephant-ear' artist sponge. I spattered color on with a toothbrush, and I left some of the white surface visible.

    5) My striping tape has 3 parallel blue vinyl tapes held equidistant from each other by a clear top carrier tape. (NOTE: my tape is not symmetrical - the center blue tape is very slightly closer to one side than to the other, so I had to be consistent with how I laid down the tape.) I cut a strip slightly longer than each side of the border and carefully laid this over my dry colored border. I rubbed with a burnishing tool for maximum adhesion. On the corners, I laid a straight edge at a 45-degree angle exactly where the tapes met and used a sharp x-acto blade to cut through the two layers of striping tape. As a graphic artist from the pre-digital days, I honed my x-acto precision, constantly cutting and positioning type, tapes and films.

    6) For the pinstripes I chose Ampersand's Scratchbord/Claybord Ink, using one of six in the set which is called "Repair Black." This ink matches that used by the factory on the black Scratchbord surface and provides excellent opaque black coverage. After pulling off the clear carrier tape, I applied the black ink over the striping tape with a small foam cosmetic wedge sold for makeup application, completely covering the two open stripe areas.

    7-8) The ink dries quickly. Touch up is easy with a little brush and the black repair ink or a Pigma Micron black pen. It's fun to pull off the masking tapes and discover the dramatic results!

    Watch this blog for my next post, my new scratchboard painting "Ruby Throated Hummer," using this border method.

    Scratchboard Art in Less Than 90 Seconds

    Through the wonders of technology, here's a quick time-lapse of the creation of my new scratchboard "Locked In Time." 'Hard to believe that it took weeks, not seconds, to create this artwork! Learning to add a mini-video to my blog is one of my many quarantine-time activities. Perhaps I'll get more adventurous (and better) in the future and maybe even add audio.

    On this 10" x 8" panel I aimed to incorporate new scratching methods and tools that I've been introduced to recently, particularly since my acceptance as a member of the International Society of Scratchboard Artists. I gained access to a library of how-to videos and witnessed the amazing detail achieved by making very very tiny dots and scratches through the thin black surface to reveal the white clay layer below. These techniques were different from some I had been using and introduced new ways to get great contrast, a huge range of values, and intense detail. I was ready for a test-drive.

    "Locked In Time" original Scratchboard with colored inks © Judy Lavoie 2020
    Scratchbord™ is the perfect surface for depicting rich textures such as old wood and rusty metal. I don't remember where I took the reference shot I selected or this artwork, but it was in my painting photo file, dated 2008. I liked the range of dark-to-light values, cast shadows, twisted and bent nails, and the darkness between and behind the old barn boards. I knew it was the ideal candidate for my newest scratchboard adventure, where I could use a variety of scratch marks to create white to black areas with lots of grey values in between. Even before I began, my vision was to incorporate strong color in the artwork, exaggerating what the photo showed. I know from my previous scratchboard work that you have to get the values right first, then keep added color very transparent.

    Set up to work on the scratchboard in my car
    Working on scratchboards presents a few advantages to me as an artist when compared to painting with watercolors or acrylics on paper or canvas. With the black panel and a few tools, I can easily work on my art just about anywhere… no need for paints, brushes, water, etc.  As an example, I started "Locked In Time" in the front seat of my car! My husband Rick was having cataract surgery and I was not allowed in the building due to COVID-19 protocols. I never have a problem finding ways to keep busy, so I packed my art sack with all I would need to start this piece while waiting in the car. I put a pillow on my lap to rest a tray at a comfortable height and laid a towel to catch the black dust which comes from scratching the surface. With the seat moved all the way back from the steering wheel, my reference photo and art panel (onto which I had already transferred my drawing with white graphite paper) rested on my makeshift art table. On the passenger seat I had more scratching tools than I needed, packed in the make-up bag I've employed to keep them organized and portable. I never expected to wait so long, but Rick's procedure didn't start on time. I ended up getting lots done on the wood texture after spending 4 hours in the car!!

    As you can see in my short video, I tackled the wood surface from left to right, working around the black areas between the boards, and keeping the hinge, lock, and other hardware untouched. The shadows on the wood were scratched too, but with finer and more sparse scratches to create darker values. I made my strokes in the direction of the wood grain, and went back and forth over the panel several times in order to create the range of values which would make the worn grain look three dimensional.
    close ups of the barn wood
    I decided to add color to the scratched wood, not the greys and browns of the real barn but a variety of cool hues. I put blue masking tape over the big black areas I had already preserved, to make it easier to avoid getting the colored inks in those areas. I used very transparent Ampersand Arts Clayboard Inks, which have the advantage of not leaving color or a film if they get on black areas, but I still preferred to keep those unscratched black sections pristine. Over my scratched barn wood I painted and spattered mixtures of cool blues, greens, purples and yellows. I applied more color that I wanted to end up with, knowing that I would be eventually be scratching much of it away to add lighter values. The scratching left mostly just a hint of color, but made the wood surface more interesting than merely shades of grey.

    close ups of the hinge
     Next I removed the masking tape and re-traced my guidelines onto the hinge and padlock from my original drawing, using white graphite paper again. I played around with various scratching tools to add lots of different textures to the old rusty hinge, making small "stipple" dots and uncovering irregular light patches with a fiberglass brush.  (A list of some of my tools and links appear in this earlier blog post.) It was a very slow process - not like the magic of the video - but it created an interesting rough texture on the black scratchboard surface. With the addition of inks mixed as bright warm orange, red and yellow shades, my vision continued to evolve.
    close ups of the lock
    I think I left the padlock to the end because I didn't know how I'd do it! In the reference photo it appeared to have lots of linear ridges, so I tried to mimic that, primarily using fine crosshatching with an x-acto blade and straight lines scratched to pure white. It looks quite messy when enlarged! Minimal color was used on the lock to add a bit of rustiness and also give it three-dimensionality.

    After declaring my scratchboard finished and allowing ample time for the inks to dry, I used a fine black pen to put small dots in places which I thought were too light and to touch up small white specs I might have created by accident in the blackest areas. I like using Pentel Arts Hybrid Technica or Pigma Micron black pens for this step. Once dry, I softly wiped the surface with a very lightly dampened cotton cloth one more time to remove any fine residue left from the scratching process.

    An archival coating over the finished work protects it from dirt, moisture, UV discoloring and, almost magically, unifies the surface and makes black marks blend into the original factory surface of the black scratchboard. I do several coats of Krylon® Gallery Series UV Archival Varnish Spray, available from art suppliers not your nearby hardware store. I favor the satin finish, but I start with a first coat of their matte finish. Some scratchboard artists prefer a brush-on clear coating, but I like the spray. Finishing these Ampersand Art scratchboard panels this way allows them to be easily popped into a frame with no need for a mat or glass over the surface.

    "Locked In Time" is one of my accepted entries into the 2020 International Society of Scratchboard Artists Annual Exhibition, so my hard work has been rewarded!