Friday, December 08, 2006
The medium is ink (pen & ink and ink washes) on scratchboard; the drawing measures 8"x10". I used EssDee professional scraperboard (aka scratchboard) and Koh-i-noor Ultradraw ink. I always use the Koh-i-noor ink, but this was the first time I'd used the "pro" scraperboard. I usually use either EssDee commercial grade scraper board or Paris scratchboard. The pro stuff is on a thicker board with a thicker surface (that's the scratch-able part). It's also textured - the commercial and Paris boards are smooth. I'd purchased it to use for drawings that require a lot of scratching - to give me more surface for re-working. This portrait did not require a lot of scratching (no more than a typical portrait of this style) but I hadn't tried the pro board yet. It worked fine and I'd use it again. It's more expensive than the other 2 types, so I'll reserve it for projects that really need it.
I've included the photos and the 2nd image to give you a bit of an idea about the process. (To learn even more about my scratchboard process, visit this page of my website.) I use a color photo and a greyscale version of the same image for reference. The grey version helps me see the tones and shades, but it's handy to have the color version to figure out details that might not be as obvious in the grey photo. The 2nd image shows my "value study" which I've painted directly on the scratchboard surface. It's chunky and rough - the tones aren't blended yet - but it provides my road map. By the time the portrait is finished, most of the ink that I laid down in this initial phase will have been scratched off! As I continue working, I refine and define the tones and textures by scratching the surface and then re-inking over the scratches (repeating as needed).
Bentley's a handsome, sweet guy and he was very obliging when I took his photos for the portrait. I remember we (his parents and I) kept telling him what a good boy he was even though we all knew he was deaf! I think he got the idea anyway. I'm pleased to report that his parents think the portrait is "stunning".