Inks on Claybord

Claybord's smooth, absorbent surface was designed for use with inks. Its smooth kaolin clay coating eliminates smudging, bleeding, and feathering. The pigments in most inks are only absorbed into the top layer of the Claybord surface allowing them to be easily erased and manipulated. When finished, seal your artwork with spray fixative and frame without glass.

Andrea Pramuk, Butterfly Effect, 48x60, alcohol inks on Ampersand Claybord


India Ink on Claybord

For the best results with ink on Claybord, we recommend using India ink, non-acrylic drawing ink, or Sumi ink. These inks will allow you to scratch back into the ink applications to add details or highlights to your artwork.

Charles Ewing, Woman, India ink on Ampersand Claybord


To begin, apply ink with a brush, airbrush, or by wiping on washes with a cloth or paper towel. Apply heavier applications of ink in areas where you would like darker values. Use diluted washes where you would like lighter values.

When painting over ink washes or drawings that have dried, India ink will not lift or mix with other media. Because of this, India inks work especially well on Claybord in mixed media compositions. Try applying oil or acrylic washes over an ink drawing. It is truly amazing how the ink drawing remains intact and is enhanced by the washes of color.

Ashley Hoth, Bird Study, 3x8, India ink on Ampersand Claybord


Oil-free steel wool or fine sandpaper can be used to gently remove some of the ink to create soft tonal values. For best results, use a 0000-grade oil-free steel wool or 400 grit sandpaper. Using steel wool, India ink, and Scratchbord tools, you can create a wide range of tonal values and textures in your work. Painting and drawing techniques can successfully be combined using this method of adding and subtracting pigments. Use our Scratchbord Tools or precision knives to cut into the surface to create fine, white lines and sharp contrast where scratchboard effects are needed.

Claybord can be coated completely with ink and used as traditional scratchboard or save yourself that step and try our already inked and ready-to-use Scratchbord.


Colored Ink on Claybord

In many cases, the same techniques using India inks on Claybord can be used with colored inks. Ampersand Scratchbord/Claybord Inks are transparent, incredibly vibrant, and have been thoroughly tested to work perfectly on Claybord.

Richey Beckett, Study, 5x5, pen and ink on Ampersand Claybord


Test other colored inks on a small piece of Claybord to determine their staining properties before using them in a composition. Some colored inks contain a high dye content making them difficult to remove using steel wool or with scratchboard tools.

For a different approach, alcohol inks are also an excellent choice for use with Claybord visit our video for a quick look at how beautifully alcohol inks disperse along the smooth, absorbent surface.


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