2010 Christmas Card

I hope you all have a blessed last week of Advent and a Merry Christmas! Below is a gift I made for my parents which I am also using for my Christmas card this year (2 birds...) The original is 10.5" x 14" black and red ink on clayboard using a scratchboard technique.

2010 Christmas Card

You can see a larger view at my website


Ben Hatke said...

Goodness, Ted! It's lovely!

And that elephant!

Catherine Post said...

Hi Ted & Everyone, I'm new to posting here, but have been looking at all the inspiring artwork on this site for many months now. Ted, your work is wonderful. Wow, the scratchboard technique you have there ~ I love that elephant also! I've done some scratchboard work, but have not tried clayboard as yet. If it's appropriate, I'd love to know more about your process in creating this piece. Thanks for sharing, & Merry Christmas to you & everyone here!

Shaylynn said...

That's very pretty!

...what is a scratchboard??? (There are always downfalls to teaching yourself art...)

theodore said...


Process: I purchase claybord brand boards, which is a lovely product. I use it for Tempera painting and Sratchboard. I don't use it for just pen and ink because the texture is too smooth and the pen skitters.

I try to plan my design carefully in pencil, I unfortunately get impatient and dive too quickly in... Of course that is fine but the result I'm after is to mimic a woodcut illustration which has more controlled deliberate strokes. Once I'm happy with the pencil I move around the image in small areas with a brush and india ink filling in blacks and using a scratchboard tool to scrape away to white. I use the broader round edge point to achieve the thicker woodcut like look. Don't do too large of an area at once or you lose the design. For larger areas of black you need to either do a few coats or leave you ink out to evaporate it a bit so it covers.

Keep in mind if you are doing this for print (or printing off a desktop printer as I did with my cards, that if you reduce it too much the illustration can look muddy.... my cards ended up looking a bit dark.

I would love to try and do woodcut or engraving for next years card. That has been on my THINGS TO TRY list for a few years now.

Myrabarinick said...

Glorious, are they for sale...Fr Jim

elizabeth said...

So inspired by your site! Please guide me for our upcoming wedding in June? I am looking for an illustration for the front of our program -- similar to the illustrations in the Missale Romanum. Ted's scratchboard illustration is just breathtaking. My fiance became Catholic last Easter vigil. After much prayer, I am confident through the intersession of the Holy Spirit that we are going to have another conversion during our mass. Please help me lead others to our faith with a beautiful religious illustration? Thank you, Elizabeth

Herreid said...

Very nice, Ted!

Elizabeth: You can find some free art here:


theodore said...

Fr. Jim. In case there is any interest I've made this image available at imagekind.com where you can get a poster, framed print or cards


Congratulation Elisabeth, and Deo Gratias for your fiances' conversion! If you don't find what you are looking for at the site John recommended you can also use google's advanced image search http://www.google.com/advanced_image_search?hl=en and select the drop down "labeled for reuse"

or if you have more of a budget any of the artists who contribute to this blog may be happy for a commission.