Scratchbord step-by-step with Sally Maxwell: Citrus

Follow along with Sally Maxwell's step-by-step instructions to create a finished 5x7 Scratchbord.


  • Pattern
  • 5x7 Ampersand Scratchbord
  • Ampersand Scratch Knife
  • Ampersand Inks or Colored India inks
  • White chalk
  • Pen or pencil
  • Soft cloth


Step 1: Download and print the PDF pattern from the link above to actual size (100%) on 8.5x11 copy paper. Trim it down to the crop marks. After trimming, the pattern should be 5x7.

Step 2: Chalk the back of the 5x7 pattern. Place the pattern on the Scratchbord with the chalk side down and tape it in place. Trace over your pattern guidelines with a pen or pencil.

Step 3: Carefully remove the pattern. Using the Scratch Knife, lightly scratch over the chalk outline for the lines. Blow away residual chalk or wipe gently with a soft cloth. Do not rub hard or the Scratchbord surface will smudge.


Step 4: Create contour and texture lines using the Step 4 drawing to guide you. These lines will define the curve of the different fruits in your drawing.


Step 5: Reference the Step 5 drawing and fill in between the contour and texture lines with more of the same. When you finish this step you should have a gray flat subject.


Step 6: Using the Step 6 drawing, go back to areas that need to be lighter and scratch more lines either between or into the previous lines. Notice which areas are the lightest ones. They get the most scratching.


Step 7: Use the inks to lay color into your drawing. Don’t be afraid to paint outside the white lines. Since the Scratchbord is coated with India ink, when you apply the colored inks over the black, they disappear, leaving a clean and precise painting. Follow the colors shown on the Step 7 image or create your own. When your painting is complete and dry, go back in and remove some color with the Scratch Knife to create the white highlights. This step will give you dimension and volume.


Step 8: Once you are finished, seal your Scratchbord with two or three coats of an acrylic fixative. The fixative will dissolve any fingerprints and smudges that appear on the surface. Display your piece in a readymade frame and you are done. No glass is necessary.


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