Cristina Penescu’s work is about as good as it gets in the genre of realistic scratchboard. I can’t think of anyone who has a more consistent portfolio of excellent work.
What sets her work apart from most is her attention to composition and light. She isn’t just taking a photograph and doing her best to mimic it in scratchboard. It’s obvious she is carefully choosing the reference photograph and planning the way it will be presented in the composition, including the background. Her subjects look like they comfortably belong in the space she creates for them on the board. Her use of bright highlights and dark shadows leads the eye on a visual journey through the strongest points of interest. And, her use of airbrush gives her work a greater tonal range than is generally possible with scratching alone.
I also like the fact that she is not afraid to show her work at large sizes. It is easy to admire someone’s work when you can see it in such detail.
I had seen these videos before, and ran across them again as I was researching using an airbrush for scratchboard—something I haven’t yet tried but have a strong desire to try. I wanted to share them here with anyone else who might be interested.