Nature Art Lab

NatureArt Lab offers participants the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and immerse themselves in art inspired by nature. Select a series of courses to suit your interests, and consider developing your foundation skills through a better understanding of colour theory, drawing skills or use of water-based mediums such as watercolour or gouache. Our team of experienced tutors will support your creative learning journey with expert instruction and guidance in a fully equipped art-science space.

Creating a Scratchboard Artwork Term One workshop - with Joan McKay




Learn how to create your own beautiful scratchboard artwork with artist Joan McKay.

About the tutor:

Joan McKay is a local artist and wildlife carer. 

About the workshop:

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.

In this introductory series of workshops, 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 at a cost of $30.00, payable directly to the tutor at the first class. 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.

Workshop 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 workshop is suitable for beginners and those wishing to practice their skills. Refreshments for morning tea are available.

Dates: 17 March - 7 April 2020

Days/Times: Tuesdays 9.30am - 12.30pm

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

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