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I was introduced to scratch-art in high school and have loved it ever since. The problem I repeatedly encounter is in keeping the surface of the paper unmarked where I want it to remain black. I have tried a number of solutions as far as a storage is concerned, like keeping it between two pieces of paper and even buying a folder carrier for my projects to keep them protected. I don't wear jewellery when I work and that helps a lot.

I find though, that my faint pencil sketch I do before starting often shows up and is difficult to erase. the pencil is very shiny and reflects a lot more light than the paper does. The eraser makes more ugly marks than the pencil does. Further, I haven't figured out what to do if I do make a mistake.

Does anyone have tips for preventing ugly marks on scratchboard paper or fixing them once they've occurred?

Is there a suggested medium to sketch with on this sort of paper to lay out the outline of a design?

Here's an example of one of my projects: scratch art rope knot

  • I have no experience with this, but have you tried black colored pencil? – margalo Nov 2 '16 at 3:29
  • No, I haven't actually but that is a really good idea! I would definitely suggest posting that as an answer :) – EmRoBeau Nov 7 '16 at 18:05
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I have not done any sort of serious scratch-board art, but here are some suggestions, to answer your two part question:

Use black colored pencil instead of regular pencil.— it isn't as reflective as regular pencil, so you will just barely be able to see it while you're working.

Paint over the nicks/stray pencil marks— If you paint over the scratches and stray pencil marks with ink, it will probably cover it up and not show. You should try this on a scrap piece of paper first, to be sure.

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  • I somewhat combined responses and drew my image on plain white paper, cut it out and then drew around it with black pencil crayon. It worked really well! Thank you for your suggestions margalo and @JiUgug they were very helpful to me! – EmRoBeau Dec 5 '16 at 14:11
  • to update: Drawing over nicks and pencil marks with ink did not work, but drawing with black pencil crayon did work. More investigation to follow! – EmRoBeau Dec 28 '16 at 17:03
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I'd suggest to draw your sketch on a different sheet of paper, something rather thin and inexpensive.

Then you can use carbon paper to transfer your drawing to the scratchboard paper. Carbon paper is paper with a layer of carbon, this side is placed on top of the scratch board, the carbon side facing down. Now, lay your sketch on top of that. Trace the lines of your design with a pencil or even a ballpoint pen that doesn't write anymore. The design is now visible on your scratchboard in carbon lines, so you only get the lines that you will scratch away anyways.

(If you've placed the carbon paper upside down, then you get your design at the back side of your original sketch. :-) )

This YouTube video shows someone using this technique to transfer a design to wood, but it still applies to scratchboard (or any number of surfaces): Transferring Graphics to Wood or Furniture - Part 3 - Carbon Paper

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    @CreationEdge, Answer edited, I hope I didn't add unnecessary details... – Ji Ugug Nov 15 '16 at 18:28
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    Much better! I added a video link, to, to help make it clear. If you've never seen carbon paper before (or had it called by that name), I think it'll help. – user24 Nov 15 '16 at 18:38

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