My good friend Will Terry is a childrens book illustrator who used to work in acrylic and now does mostly digital painting. He sent me an email recently and I vaguely remembered he had once done a piece of scratchboard. It got me curious, and here it is:
I think it was a demo he did for a class he was teaching. It’s not his most polished piece of work, and I’m sure he could do a much better version if he spent the time. What I find interesting is how so many accomplished artists have tried scratchboard at least once.
This is a nice portrait by Kim Dingwall. I really like the rustic textures on the face. The treatment of the hair reminds me of some advice I received long ago: “Plan to spend as much time on the hair as you do on the face”. In this case there isn’t as much hair to worry about as there might be, but it’s still important. The little wisps of hair coming out of the bald areas add to the realism. The contrast of his white eyebrows against the shadow side of his face adds to it as well. They are very deliberate and believable. Working in scratchboard can be a balance between what to show and what to leave in the dark…even if it’s in the reference photo. The light stippling around the shoulders is an example of that. The shapes of the ear and shoulders are revealed in a subtle way that adds dimension but doesn’t overpower.
This is a really nice composition by Charlotte Janse van Vuuren – very peaceful. I loved it immediately. The rule of thirds is working well with the placement of objects and the highlights, shadows, and textures give a pleasant visual journey. I like how the simple round shapes contrast with the more complex pattern of the crochet work. She has other nice work on her site, but this is my favorite.
This is a super nice piece by Hank Porter. The design and rendering are both fabulous. In addition to the scratches there is a lot of pen work, so I assume it was done on a white board with ink applied by pen and brush, which was then selectively scraped away.
To view the details, right-click on the image and choose something like “View image in new tab”. It’s a big image.
Brain Gallagher has some nice work on his site. The ones I like best are the landscapes with buildings. I think he really has a gift for buildings. These two are especially charming. The second one is probably my favorite.