To me, scratchboard is an exercise in zen. I can think of no other medium that is so meditative and soothing as you work, sitting with a shining black board picking away at details. Hair patterns, thread counts, textures, leaves, grass, fur, feathers - these things lend themselves superbly to scratchboard. I have found that by starting with a white clayboard and inking it myself, I have better control over how the ink will react to the blade, and I can get some effects that are harder to achieve on a commercially prepared board.
There are some truly legendary scratchboard artists out there who have pushed the medium beyond the traditional black and white by adding color or incorporating the technique into paintings, drawings and the like. Their innovation has inspired me to try new techniques, such as the one I am testing out for "Tempest". Instead of using blades to remove the surface ink, I am using small bits of sandpaper, steel wool and fiberglass to "draw" through to the clay surface. I've only spent about an hour or two on it, but so far I am very pleased with the effect.
And, from the box of "Works in Progress" in the studio, I unearthed a little scratchboard I started back in early 2000 as a demonstration piece. It seems that every equine artist has at least one "horse eye" painting or drawing in their portfolio, so here is my contribution. I'm keeping this one on the dining room table downstairs so I can work on it at night while watching tv. There's no big pressure to get this one done, and it's pure pleasure to curl up next to my dh and scratch, scratch, scratch away.