Throughout the years in the Art of Scratchboard, artists have designed tools that carve or scratch the ink off a clay-based board. Clayboard has no ink on it. Scratchboard has a thin layer of ink on the surface. Think of it like an Oreo cookie.
The next step is using tools to make a divet in the clay and in the case of scratchboard remove the ink at the same time. Some artists prefer a single needle, blade, or knife. Others go to the hardware store and purchased sharp instruments that may suit their curiosity and experimental process.
One of the ways to find the right set of tools when scratching is to determine your tendency for detail. Are you a “carver” Do you write/print boldly? Or do you the tendency to express yourself with long flowing lines. The good news is the Engraving Stylus accommodates most all tendencies and techniques.
This stylus is designed to be lightweight to minimize hand fatigue with a non-slip grip for control and prolonged use. The 2 headed design accommodates both ends with Nibs. This allows the option of using the tool as you illustrate different patterns, creating the illusion of dimension.
What does your Hopman Tool® Engraving Stylist include? [Video 1:42 min]
- Included with the stylus are 25 nibs.:
(5) X-acto Blades – You can use the sharp edge down to create very fine lines. When you turn it over the lines can be bolder and the blade is more controllable. I use the point for the finest detail. For instance, highlights in the eye, to create the pebble finish on an animal nose or eyelashes.
(10) 5 -Wire Nibs – Great for defining areas as you start. Depending on your style and subject, the spread on the 5 wire will allow you to create mid-tone areas.
(10) 15 Wire Nibs – One of my favorites. These nibs are the ones I use in all of my works. Use them lightly to create the illusion of underfur. This creates the appearance of dimension or depth.
They are used to lighten or soften contrasting areas. If you decided to add color, it is a great way to open up areas to inks, pastels, marker, or even colored pencils (I recommend Derwent), to be absorbed by the clay.