Al begins by sketching the wolf on the board with a white chalk or pastel pencil.  This initial sketch is done very lightly  to avoid scarring the board and to allow for erasing if necessary.  Once he is happy with the general layout Al begins to scratch using an "X-acto" knife.  Each scratch removes the black ink from the surface of the board and exposes the white clay underneath.  Colour is applied to the eyes in thin washes using a fine brush.  The wolf's coat is coloured using an airbrush.  By alternating scratching and colouring, each time changing the colour, Al is able to give the wolf a coat that is made up of a blend of different coloured hair.
 

This video also demonstrates the scratch technique, but with the addition of a bit of opaque acrylic paint brushed in to create the cougar's resting place.




In this video, Al is painting on "Claybord" (also by Ampersand).  This excellent painting surface is comprised of a white clay pressed onto hardboard, but missing the black ink coating of typical scratchboard.  Al applies colour to the entire surface with an airbrush before sketching out his wolf with a pencil.

This time painting on "Hardbord" (by Ampersand) Al has coated the board with black acrylic.  Again, sketching first with a white chalk pencil, he makes sure he's happy with the layout of the painting before beginning to add colour.  This painting is entirely created with paint and does not involve any scratching at all.  It is, however, a good example of Al's drawing style.  The full compositional size of the piece is determined along with the significant angles before any work is done with the acrylic colour.  Next he chooses an individual component and spends time sketching with the chalk untill he is satisfied with the proportions, angles and shapes.  Detail is then created with colour.