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News & Muse

Clayboard: The Art of Adding and Subtracting

Updated: May 7

A piece of clayboard art starts with a Masonite board that is pre-coated with a layer of very fine white clay. The subject is painted on. I use acrylic ink; here I've started with the background, begun defining values in the mountain lion's body, and then jumped ahead to the next step on his right paw.

Below, I've finished the next step except for his nose. The initial painting is done much darker than desired for the finished work because...

details are scratched in to reveal the white of the board. In this piece I used mainly an X-acto knife to do the scratching.

The final result is achieved by continuing the process of adding layers of ink and scratching back to get just the right look.

Although my husband and I affectionately called this piece "Scratchcat" while I worked on it, it's final title is "You Cannot Resist Me." Because of the piercing eyes.

The original of the piece is in the permanent collection of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Prints on metal are available. The original has a slightly luminescent quality because of the transparency of the inks and the metal prints have a similar look. Contact me if you are interested.


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