Remember when you were a kid and some genius art teacher colored a piece of paper with wax crayons before coating is with a layer of black paint? And then you’d scratch into the paint to make a rainbow black magic drawing and everyone was like, “Ooh, wow!”?
Well, this is pretty much the same thing, only grown-up. The scratch board that Mackenzie Streutker is using in this time-lapse video is an Ampersand scratchboard, made with kaolin clay and Indian ink instead of wax crayons and powder paint. The clay ground layer is absorbent, so when Streutker starts using inks to color the tiger, the colors sink into the top layer of clay, allowing the artist to go back in and scratch more details and highlights into the design. This process of paint and then scratch, paint and then scratch can be repeated several times until the artist has created a product that satisfies them. The process also means that if the scratchboard artist makes a mistake they can always paint over it and get it right the second time around.
Most scratchboard suppliers will also offer a variety of tools for using on scratchboards, but really, anything sharp will do. Artists can use nails, wire and surgical scalpels to make their art. You can also make your own scratchboards at home, just do a quick search on Youtube for more info.