Scratchboard artist Hector Fernandez will demonstrate his techniques during a free workshop sponsored by the Santa Clarita Artists’ Association on Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in Valencia.
Scratchboard is a hardboard panel, covered with a layer of white clay and then covered with black India ink. Modern scratchboard originated in the 19th century in Britain and France.
As printing methods developed, scratchboard became popular for reproduction because it replaced wood, metal and linoleum engravings. It’s fine line detail could be reduced for reproduction without losing quality. Between the 1930s and 1950s, it was preferred for medical, scientific and product illustrations.
“I will explain the tools and materials used in scratchboard and go over some techniques used in this medium,” said Cuban-born Hector Fernandez, who has been drawing and painting since he was very young. He has experimented with many mediums over the years, but finds the detail obtainable with scratchboard to be most to his liking.
Beginning with a solid black surface, Fernandez uses a variety of instruments to remove the black ink. Each scratch reveals the white clay layer beneath the ink. For added dimension, black or colored inks can be added to the white areas and then scratched again for additional highlights and volume. A multitude of scratches of various lengths, widths and shapes begins to transform the blackness into shapes, textures and values, eventually becoming the works that you can see in this exhibit.
Fernandez, a longtime resident of Santa Clarita, specializes in wildlife subjects and pet portraits. His work has been awarded gold and silver medals at the SCAA Classic art shows. Many visitors have remarked about Fernandez’s exquisite paintings of animals at SCAA shows and at his solo show held at Canyon Theatre Guild.
The monthly general meeting is held in the community room at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Valencia. Come early; seating is limited. For more information about SCAA, visit santaclaritaartists.org or call 661-244-7689.