Chapter 8

THE STUDENT’S BOOK OF

WOOD-ENGRAVING

CHAPTER 8

SCRAPER-BOARD

Scraper-board is thin board covered with china clay. One can obtain it in white and blacken it where necessary with india ink, or one can buy it already blackened. With the point of a knife the appearance of a wood-engraving can be imitated so closely that in a reproduction it is almost impossible to distinguish whether the design was cut on scraperboard or wood. In fact many of the advertisements in newspapers and magazines which appear to be wood-engravings are really scraper-board. One can buy it from most artists’ colourmen and it will often enable the wood-engraver to test an effect very quickly and easily. To the beginner, also, it is helpful as frequently, when faced with the black expanse of the block, relieved only by the red or yellow lines of the tracing, the confidence gained in experimenting is apt to vanish completely. If that is so, one can either work out the design on scraper-board or else, starting on a part of the block which will be shown as pure white in the print, cut a few lines to restore one’s morale.

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