Introduction to Ampersand Scratchbord

Ampersand’s Scratchbord is the #1 choice among professional scratchboard artists. It’s made using a Hardbord sealed with Archiva-Seal™ and then coated with India ink over a kaolin clay ground. Ampersand’s Scratchbord offers several advantages over paper options. It won’t bend, tear, or crack, and its rigid backing allows artists excellent precision.

Anything abrasive is a scratchboard tool, but the right tool can make the right mark or texture. Ampersand offers scratchboard tools designed to create a wide range of breathtaking textures. Available for sale individually or in kits, these tools include: A Scratchbord Knife with a curved and fine nib, a Line Tool, a Fiber Brush, a Wire Brush, and oil-free Steel Wool.

Let’s see some of the amazing techniques possible with Ampersand Scratchbord and tools.

The Scratch Knife curved nib is used to create wider lines and is perfect for clearing large sections of the ink back to white. The fine nib is used to create fine details and contour lines. There’s also a Line Tool for making several parallel lines at once, making it the ideal tool for cross-hatching. The Wire Brush works in tandem with Scratchbord to create realistic fur and grass textures that are hallmarks for scratchboard works. The Fiber Brush acts like an ink eraser for softer, smoother textures, such as glass or skin. And, you can use the oil-free Steel Wool to clear large areas completely back to white.

Ampersand’s Scratchbord is ideal for creating black and white imagery, but you can add color to your artwork with Ampersand Scratchbord Inks!

Sally Maxwell, I’ll Scratch Your Back, You Scratch Mine, Ampersand Scratchbord


Ampersand’s Scratchbord Inks are designed to work with Scratchbord, so they don’t leave a residue, allowing you to re-scratch areas where color has been added or where repairs have been made. They’re lightfast, waterproof when dry, and extremely vibrant.

You can mix them into any color that your artwork requires.

The Scratchbord Ink Set includes a Black Repair ink that’s perfect for correcting mistakes or changing the position of a line. If you make a scratch you don’t want; you can reapply black ink to eliminate that mark from your artwork.

When your artwork is done, you can seal it with a fixative coating that evens the surface sheen and protects the image from unwanted scratches.

Once a fixative is applied, you can display your work without glass!

Scratchbord is available in a wide range of sizes from 5x5 up to 24x36.

Scratchbord: The Professional’s Choice for Scratchbord

  • Kaolin clay ground with India ink coating on top
  • Won’t bend, tear, or crack, and its rigid backing allows for excellent precision
  • Variety of marks and textures can be added using Scratchbord Tools
  • Add vibrant colors using Scratchbord Inks
  • Correct mistakes with India ink or Black Repair Ink
  • Apply fixative to even out the surface and display without glass


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