Featured Artist Lesley Barrett

Lesley Barrett presents her incredible scratchboard portfolio. Enjoy, and see more of her artwork by visiting her website.


Crossing the Pantanal

“Crossing the Pantanal” scratchboard, 16″ x 20″


My medium is Scratchboard Art and I am a Master member of The International Society of Scratchboard Artists.


Ocelot Dreaming

“Ocelot Dreaming” scratchboard, 11″ x 14″


The Ampersand boards are purchased ready made and consist of a masonite board covered with a layer of white kaolin clay. This is then airbrushed with black India ink by Ampersand. I use various scratch tools including blades and scalpels or even an old piece of steel wool to remove the black ink thus revealing the white clay. Indian inks are sometimes used to add colour if I feel the piece is crying out for it.


Off to Work

“Off to Work” scratchboard, 16″ x 20″


I am always on the lookout for something “sharp” that I can use to make a scratch on my boards. Family and friends are often opening their drawers, medicine cabinets and sewing baskets for me to take a peek and see if I can find the next scratch tool. It is a very portable medium and soooooo addictive.


True Love

“True Love” scratchboard, 11″ x 14″


I do have a background in oils, colour pencils and watercolour but discovered this old art form of scratch art several years ago and haven’t looked back. Fortunately for me it keeps me very busy. My work has received recognition in The Australian Artist Magazine.


Please Don't Tease Me

“Please Don’t Tease Me” scratchboard, 11″ x 14″


I do like to “scratch” all forms of animal life but my focus is on cats, especially the medium and big cats. They have always fascinated me and I try to capture their essence by focusing on the eyes. I love the way the long fur flows and lays against the skin or the short hairs that stand on end when they are on the alert. And I am particularly fond of our own Australian natives.



“Mimi” scratchboard, 17″ x 24″


When creating my pieces I try to pull the viewer into the picture and raise their awareness of the many endangered creatures that still exist on this beautiful planet. I want them to feel their soul, to become immersed in the subject.



“Salto” (young jaguar) scratchboard, 16″ x 12″


Many of the animals I “scratch” face extinction  and are either threatened or vulnerable. I want people to consider the plight of these creatures – to be moved enough to take an active part in their preservation. So much great conservation work is being done but they are still disappearing at an alarming rate.



  1. Extraordinary work, Lesley!

  2. Leslie France says

    Scratch board art. Amazing!

  3. That is amazing, incredible – such precision. Just absolutely beautiful Lesley!

  4. I too love scratchboard! I have added bits of color with oil or watercolor. And you have a lovely heart of kindness- most important. Your photographs are great too! Did you do that too? I have a hard time photographing scratchboards, they don’t show up well. I need a better camera or a friend with one. 🙂

  5. omgosh Lesley, i LOVE your work. i am just floored by your talent! i can see why you have the title of master member, your skill level is crazy and i absolutely love your subject matter and raising awareness of these beautiful cats plight.

    i wish you wonderful success in your art career!

  6. Thank you so much everyone for your wonderful words of encouragement. It really lifts the spirit.

    Michelle, I also struggle with photographing my work. I usually just lay them flat on the bed and snap them overhead. I take the stops on the camera back a couple just to darken them and try and reduce the glare. Best to do this before spraying them with varnish also. You can find out more about this process on the Wet Canvas Scratchboard Forum. A very helpful bunch

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