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Watercolor on scratchboard
MFA# 1998.577


A cardboard primarily designed for white-line-on-black drawings. Scratchboard is a Cardboard coated with a smooth white Gesso then covered with a thin layer of Ink which is typically black. The drawing is made by scraping lines in the ink layer to reveal the white underneath. Scratchboard drawing was introduced in the 19th century.

Synonyms and Related Terms

scratch board; scratch-board; scraperboard (Br.)

Resources and Citations

  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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