View Full Version : New artwork with the laser

Cathy McCullough
11-14-2011, 11:10 AM
We thought that some of the people that visit the forum would be interested in some of the artwork that we have been doing for a while.
The pictures attached are done on scratchboard that is 1/8" hardboard with a white clay coating and then coated with a black india ink.
It has to be run at a very low power setting on the laser. We have a 30w Laser Pro Mercury. Our setting is 4-7% on the power @ 100% speed @ 600 DPI. The quality of the output has everything to do with the quality of the image. The pic of the dog was e-mailed to us and turned out quit good. All images are run through Photograv. All other images are photographs that we have taken. Has anyone else ever used
the blackboard like this.

Randy and Cathy McCullough
CLM Dezine Ovations

Dan Hintz
11-14-2011, 11:17 AM
When you say "hardboard", are you talking about chipboard (cardboard often used in making boxes for gift shirts and such)? Where are you sourcing the scratchboards from? With the quality of images you appear to be getting from them, seems like an inexpensive substrate to work with...

Cathy McCullough
11-14-2011, 11:40 AM
Hi Dan,
It is 1/8" tempered masonite with the scratch coating. We get it from Blick Art Supply in 16x20 sheets and cut it into 8x10 pcs. Once it is lasered you may get some banding or small lines where the laser may not clean the surface. The picture of the dog did that some so I cleaned it up with 600 grit paper so it was totally white and I could shade the areas a little better. Once we get it the way we want it I coat it with clear acrylic spray. You also need to clean the surface with a very soft cloth to remove any black dust left over on the white areas.

Joe Hillmann
11-14-2011, 11:48 AM
Kind of expensive though, I wonder if you could cover a white ceramic tile with India ink and get similar results? Although applying the ink may be harder than I think it should be much cheaper.

The black ink is about $3 an ounce, I would think that one ounce would cover ten or more 12x 12 tiles.

Dan Hintz
11-14-2011, 12:08 PM
$2.50 per 8x10 board is not unreasonable, IMO. I do wonder, however, about inking bare boards yourself as it would open up a wide range of colors to work with. That's a lot of extra work, so the project has better make it worthwhile.

Joe Hillmann
11-14-2011, 12:11 PM
$2.50 per 8x10 board is not unreasonable, IMO. I do wonder, however, about inking bare boards yourself as it would open up a wide range of colors to work with. That's a lot of extra work, so the project has better make it worthwhile.

Where were you seeing it for $2.50? I did a quick search and came up with this http://www.dickblick.com/products/ampersand-scratchbord/ Which is pretty expensive.

Cathy McCullough
11-14-2011, 12:13 PM
Not really. Just looked at Blicks website. A 16x20 pc. is just under $10.00 so that would make a 8x10 run $2.50 ea. with some shipping tacked on.
It is called Ampersand on their website.
Randy McCullough

Joe Hillmann
11-14-2011, 12:50 PM
I originally looked at there site on my phone and only saw the price of the 5x5's and didn't notice that it was a pack of 3. So I was wrong when commenting on them being expensive.

Chuck Stone
11-14-2011, 1:01 PM
Blick is 100+ miles from here, but I do have some masonite and MDF, and i have
some acrylic gesso. And I have a bottle of titanium dioxide..
I'd better get to it!

Mike vonBuelow
11-14-2011, 6:16 PM
nice stuff

Frank Corker
11-14-2011, 6:24 PM
Me! I tried it a long while back but purely out of temptation to engrave just about anything. They did turn out ok, but that is about as far as I could stretch myself, just okay. Just the white didn't come through white enough for my liking.

Chuck Stone
11-14-2011, 7:05 PM
I think these came out pretty nice. I'll give it a shot when
my gesso dries

Chuck Stone
11-16-2011, 8:05 PM
Thanks, Cathy.. I tried it out and it looks like a nice new medium for me.
I put the gesso on the MDF, but then realized it was transparent. (D'OH!)
so the second and third coats got a bit of white acrylic paint and some
powdered marble. (not sure of the amount of solids in the transparent)
then put down a coat of black.
I like it so far .. I left brush strokes in the white, not sure if I will
leave them or maybe spray the white next time.
Nice way to use up the leftover pieces! Little 5x5's in an inexpensive
frame.. I'll put them on the table at the next craft fair and see what

Mary Geitz
11-16-2011, 10:05 PM
I've used this many times and I love it! It has to be sealed and I think that dulls it a bit. Other than that it's great. I've used it in my many years of crafting and have used the clayboard paints to add color. It's a great medium!

Dee Gallo
11-16-2011, 11:54 PM
Mighty cool work, Chuck - but what the heck kind of gesso did you get? I've used gesso for the past 50 years and it's always white and opaque, due to the chalk they put in it. It's sandable, which is why it makes such a good ground for canvas, wood or whatever. Maybe you got a clear ground such as horsehide glue, which is another type of ground?

By the way, gesso looks nice tinted, so that might make an interesting variation on this application.

ciao, dee

Chuck Stone
11-17-2011, 12:03 PM
Liquitex Clear Gesso. This is what I get for leaving my eyeglasses in the car
while I browse the art store. All those Liquitex bottles look the same!
But reading the ingredients, it isn't real gesso. It's an acrylic polymer,
not glue and gypsum.

But the powdered marble worked just fine. It's ultra white and they use it to
make other things white (like toothpaste, paint and even gesso!) I got
a 100# bag of it for $0 (except the gas to get to the marble quarry) and
I use it mostly for dusting molds and mixing with resin to make synthetic
marble. But it worked nicely for this project.

Now I'm searching for Pshop tutorials on how to do faux woodcut images.
I can't draw or paint to save my life, but I can sometimes combine things
to get them to work ok..

this one was too low res

Joe Hillmann
11-17-2011, 12:18 PM
Being low res actually makes it look more artsy. Kind of like shooting in black and white rather than color.

Chuck Stone
11-17-2011, 12:32 PM
i did one of them with brush strokes, sort of an exaggerated version of this.
Not sure what I'd do with it though. HA!!