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Tool Feature: The Other Tools in my Kit

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

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There are two tools in my scratchboard tool kit that I use on EVERY SINGLE piece that I create - the small fiberglass brush and x-acto knife - but you won't find them here. This post is about all the other tools that are in my kit. They may not be used as often as my two favorites, but they do have specific purposes and can be used in different ways.

Let's dive in!

Most of these tools came from a scratchboard tool set that I got when I first started learning scratchboard.

The first one is called a parallel line tool and does exactly what it sounds like it would do - makes parallel lines! It has four parallel needles that make straight lines. This tool makes a very consistent pattern and can be used for hatching and cross hatching, as well as creating a solid, flat texture. The multiple tips are great for stippling larger areas as well.

The next two tools from the video above - with the red handles - are both called scratch knifes. They have different shaped heads and the pointed tip is sharper than the spade tip. I use both of these to put in larger scratches (whiskers, grass, large individual hairs, etc) or scratch away large areas of ink. I use the side edge of the spade shaped tip for scrapping ink off entirely (i.e. lettering).

This tool is called a stainless steel wire brush and is spectacular for scratching in large areas of wavy hair/fur. The wires are curved themselves and are not a consistent length, so you get an inconsistent scratch pattern every time you use it.

The fifth tool in the video is one that I got from a jeweler who purchased some of work. I don't know what it's called or what it's used for when making jewelry, but I use it for incredibly precise details. It is very sharp so makes fine lines, very small stippling dots, and can be used for scribbling (a random texture pattern).

This is called a fiberglass erasing brush - it is the larger version of the small fiberglass brush that I mentioned earlier (my all-time favorite tool). It creates the same marks as the smaller version, but is harder to control. I use this to scratch very large areas of fur or other patterns, natural textures on tree bark or leaves, and for very large eyes!

The final tool in my kit is a kneaded eraser! It doesn't scratch the board, but is still essential for my process. I sketch all the images onto the scratchboard with a pencil before I start and the kneaded eraser is for when I'm completely done scratching the board. Most of the pencil marks will be scratched off, but any that remain can be removed with the eraser without damaging the board. Any blemishes left from the eraser are eliminated when it is varnished.

Demonstrating all the tools!

Find more information about my scratchboard processes and practice in my Frequently Asked Questions blog series - edition #1, edition #2, edition #3.

Find Your Joy!


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