Scratchboard illustrations have been around for quite a while. They have been used since the early 1800′s in newspapers and posters for their ability to retain fine lines and detail. Today, artists are still using scratchboard illustrations for these same qualities while also combining them newer techniques and ideas. Check out some of these scratchboard illustrations we found that are sure to inspire you.

Working with scratchboard is less forgiving than working with pencil and paper since it’s harder to correct mistakes. Scratchboard illustrations are made using sharp blades and scratching implements to create an image. A sheet of china clay is covered with a layer of India Ink which the artist scrapes or scratches off to create the image. As you can imagine, it takes a lot of patience and hard work in this medium. Check out the following short video to get an idea of how these illustrations are made:


The images below are done by some really amazing artists who use this more traditional medium to showcase some really pretty innovative ideas and techniques. Enjoy!

Cristina Penescu

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Patrushka

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Eric Sabee

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Shauna Fannin

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Zeb Love

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Michael Halbert

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Ricardo Martinez

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Kent Barton

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Mark Summers

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Nico Delort

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Author:

Isaac is the Co-Founder and Chief Editor of Design Instruct. He has experience in various design and art related fields including design, illustration, and photography. He's in charge of making sure that Design Instruct publishes high quality content that professional designers and digital artists demand and expect. Get in touch via email and on Twitter as @designinstruct or @IAMTHEGUBE.