NatureArt Lab

Studio Workshop: CREATE A SCRATCHBOARD ARTWORK: 19 and 20 March 2022 (Beginners and Intermediate)

Sale price Price $380.00 Regular price Unit price  per 

Tax included.

In this unique 2 day workshop you will learn how to create your own beautiful scratchboard artwork with artist Joan McKay.

About the course:

Scratchboards were first seen in the 19th century and have recently made a comeback in a new art form. Ampersand scratchboards are masonite boards covered with a layer of clay and a layer of Indian ink. Tools are used to carefully scratch through the ink layer to reveal the white of the clay underneath.

Dates:  19 & 20 March 2022

Days/Times: Saturday/Sunday 9.30am - 4.30pm

Venue: NatureArt Lab Studio, M16 Artspace, 21 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith

In this workshop, Joan will demonstrate and participants will practice various scratchboard techniques using a range of tools to represent textures, form and contrast. Participants will use these skills to render a small object and then create a larger portrait of a native animal or bird starting with the eye, through to layering fur or feathers before fine tuning with finishing touches.

Throughout the course participants will be presented with a wide range of scratchboard examples to analyse, including design, contrast, and lost and found. The process of manipulating a photo to be printed and ready to use on a scratchboard will be discussed.

A materials kit will be available from the tutor, and is included in the workshop costs. A few additional supplies are required for the class including cotton gloves, an old hand towel, watercolour brush and small watercolour palette. Details of materials will be sent to all students prior to the class.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Use a range of scratchboard tools to demonstrate techniques to create textures on Ampersand scratchboards.
  • Show form and contrast using different textures and shading when creating an image.
  • Analyse the design and techniques used in scratchboard examples shown.
  • Create an animal or a bird on a 5“x7” Ampersand scratchboard from a photo image, tracing it, scratching the eye, fur or feathers.
  • Develop the image further - fine tuning.
  • Choose, resize and print an image ready to use on a scratchboard.

This course is suitable for people who are aged 16+ who are beginners and those wishing to practice and develop their skills further. 

    About the tutor:

    Canberra-based award-winning artist and wildlife carer, Joan McKay, has been honing skills in the art of scratchboard during the last three years. When Joan saw how images could be realistically represented on a scratchboard, Joan enthusiastically attended workshops by Rikki Fisher to learn scratchboard techniques. She has found scratchboard to be a fantastic medium for realistically portraying macropods and birds she has cared for. Joan is an Active member of The International Society of Scratchboard Artists (ISSA). She was awarded first prize in the Strathnairn Arts Squares 2019 competition for her scratchboard image of 4 peewees and has been exhibiting in several exhibitions, including Tucson, Arizona. Joan holds science, education and library studies degrees and has studied and practised art throughout her life, including drawing (Vanderbilt University) and watercolour media (ANU). Her Instagram account displaying many of her scratchboards is @joanmck31 

    Images provided by Joan McKay

    Refund Policy:  Any changes or cancellations made by NatureArt Lab for any reason are 100% refunded or credited (for use on another course).  Any cancellations made by the purchaser are refunded (or held in credit) for the total amount LESS a $60 administrative processing fee.  Special consideration for waiving the $60 fee for compassionate/ extraordinary circumstances can be granted by NatureArt Lab by writing to

     COVID-19 Policy: Students on NatureArt Lab studio courses or workshops are required to comply with all stated COVID-19 requirements specified at the time of booking.  This includes showing proof of double vaccination prior to entry at the NatureArt Lab premises, wearing of masks, use of sanitiser on entry and during the course/workshop and maintaining social distancing. Any additional COVID-19 related restrictions and/or requirements will be conveyed by email prior to the course/workshop.  This policy will be reviewed and amended as ACT Government policy is changed and these changes will also be conveyed to students prior to commencement.

     Discount Policy: Students may be eligible for Seniors Discount and/or Member Discounts on checkout.  If you are unsure about eligibility or how to claim this discount, please email


     Image credit: Joan McKay