About Russ McMullin

My name is Russ McMullin and I’ve been working in scratchboard for about 20 years. I use this site to talk about scratchboard and related scratchboard products, as well as to talk about great scratchboard artists.

The content I post from other artists generally comes from Google searches in my quest for really cool scratchboard work. A few times I have contacted them directly. When I search I look for images with solid design and a nice handling of value, form, and texture. Basically, I look for images I consider to be excellent examples of scratchboard – images I want to come back to and admire.

I avoid posting images that are too small to see details, or that have watermarks or large copyright symbols on them. I also avoid posting work from sites that make a strong declaration of their copyright restrictions. I figure if someone is worried about having their work copied they might have a problem with me posting it on my site. If you are the copyright owner of work I have posted and would like it removed, I am happy to comply.

Having said that, if there are great scratchboard artists I am missing, I would like to know about them. If I like their work I will certainly post some examples.

Email Me

If you have an interest in seeing my work, you can find me at www.mcmullincreative.com.

12 thoughts on “About Russ McMullin

  1. I am living in France, where is it becoming very difficult to find art supplies.
    Could you recommend where can I buy scratch boards and tools? What brands do you recommend? Thank you for posting the work of these fine artists.

  2. Debra, I’m not sure what supplies are available in France. Essdee Scraperboard is made in Europe, so it may be available there. Ampersand products are made in the US, so I’m not sure how available they are. I tend to use Ampersand scratchboard these days, mainly because it is more available. Essdee makes an excellent product. Here are some online retailers that may ship internationally:

    Dick Blick
    Daniel Smith
    Jerry’s Artarama (I shop here because they have a store nearby)

  3. Hi Russ.

    I trie to make my own scratch boards with polyester paper and ink, but the result is not good.
    Do you know some kind of tutorial about?

    Thanks a lot for this wonderfull web, and please excuse my poor english.

  4. Hi I may as well ask you here. My tools are basic and don’t give me good work trying to make finer lines as such. How can I get your tools and your work of course are awnsome and beautiful. Just got to catch up with a lot of practice. I’ve tried EKland.com but don’t understand it. It won’t remove or let me change my order in the end. So is there some where else I can get them. Thank you. Maree Green

  5. Hi Maree,

    I found the steel points on Ebay. They shipped out of China so I expected them to take a while to arrive (their email said 12-20 days). I think they arrived sooner than I anticipated. I specifically looked for listings with free shipping. I don’t provide any links here because I don’t want to endorse any specific Ebay sellers.

    Here is what I ordered:
    5Pcs Carbide Steel 15 Degree Router Pyramid Engraving Bits for CNC Machinery – $6.84
    10PCS Flat bottom Engraving bits 0.1mm 10 Degree CNC Router PCB Wood – $8.43

    I bought the dowels at Lowe’s. I tried 3/8″ and 1/2″ poplar dowels. Both worked well. I cut them into sections about 6″ long with a circular saw, and then drilled holes in the ends with a 1/8″ drill bit. I drilled just deep enough to cover the shaft of the engraving bit. Wrapping a piece of masking tape around the bit works well as a depth gauge. The engraving bits fit snugly into the dowels without any kind of glue, which means they can also be removed. The bits are extremely sharp, so I am super careful when I handle them.

    I hope this helps. Thanks.


  6. Hello Russ, I am very interested in scratching. Is there any advice or exercises, common manuals, videos, that could approve the beginners technique? I understand quite well-the more I draw, the more I gain…. I mean, for example, like for engravers in old times how to hold a straight line, cross hatching techniques etc. I have bought several books on ebay about wood engraving….It is very nice, but it doesnt help to much, if I want to work with an ampersand board and rotring rapidograph. Just some common advices, if you dont mind, please!

  7. Have you looked at Diana Lee’s book, “Starting from Scratch“? I don’t own it, but I’ve heard good things about it. It rates well on Amazon.

    YouTube has quite a few videos if you search for “scratchboard tutorial”, and it looks like Cathy Sheeter has some videos: http://www.cathysheeter.com/sbtutorial.html

    If you haven’t seen it yet, I have a tutorial that goes over the basics of getting started, thought it doesn’t really deal with techniques: https://scratchboard.org/russhowto/

    I hope this helps

  8. Russ, I am a Lutheran pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, MN. I recently came across an illustration you did on the parable of the Sower and the Seed (or as you say, “The parable of the four types of soil”). I am wondering if I may use it this coming weekend on the cover of the church bulletin? We do not turn any profit from the art since we are a non-profit religious organization.

    It is such a simple and yet compelling depiction of the Jesus’ parable, I hope we are able to make use of it. I await your answer.

  9. I have severely neglected my scratchboard site, and I’m just now seeing your comment. I really apologize for the slow reply. I know my answer is way too late, but I wanted to let you know that you are welcome to use my parable of the Sower illustration for any future use. I don’t need attribution or compensation of any kind. It’s free to use. Thanks for reaching out.

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