Free Art For All - Sketching - Hatchmarks on Scratchboards

In Basics of Watercolor Pen and Ink Part 2,Geranium Study in Pen and Ink, Geranium Planter Study in Pen and Ink, and Sketching - Hatch Marks we concentrated on sketching using hatch marks.  This lesson will take all of those hints and tips and move on to a new medium called Scratchboard.  Although you can buy scratchboard at your local hobby store we talk about how scratchboard is made. We will be using “tools” to scratch into the board.  I used tools that you can find around your house, anything with a point will work.  If you shop at Michaels and Hobby Lobby you might look for something like this.  Scratchboard can be bought at many craft stores but looks like this.  At one point I mention using paper that can be scratched.  For this project I suggest using the board for a sturdier scratching.


  1. Scratchboard
  2. Scratchboard tools, I used 2 small flathead screwdriver, a straight pin,
  3. Pentel mechanical pencil
  4. General kneaded eraser
  5. A black and white picture of the Build A Bear Teddy bear
  6. Black Sharpie or Staedtler Pigment Liner Sketch Pens
  7. Paper Towel or tissue


  1. We begin by deciding if we are drawing the whole teddy bear or just a portion.  As with the front door we designate our working space and figure out how our art is going to fit on the board.
  2. I show a picture of a dinosaur scratched on the paper.  This was done on an in-person lesson.  If there is enough interest I can always do it in video.
  3. Draw the outline of the part of the bear you are drawing on the scratchboard.  I attempted to trace it but had more success with a pencil and drawing it lightly.  The outline will be scratched out. Put a piece of paper towel or tissue under your hand to protect scratchboard from the oils on your hand.
  4. You want to keep your hatch marks small, less than 1/2” in length.  Varying the pressure you put on the scratch tool will give you better results.  
  5. I start off the picture by making a major mistake on the left eye.  You can skip making my mistake and do the eye like I did the right eye.  This is a major learning experience.  Once I realize that I have lost control, I stop and move on to the next area.  This is an important thing for you to remember.  It is easier to fix a small mistake than to keep doing the same thing you have messed up.  Leave it and go back.
  6. Continue scratching the bear with small hatch marks. Work at a pace that is relaxed and not rushed.

When you finish your bear face you should have a piece of art worth framing.  This will need to be framed with the art behind glass, a mat will not be necessary as anything other than setting it away from the frame edges.  There are many more methods we can use to create scratchboard art.  This was only “scratching the surface”.