Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Finished yesterday, I've just color & contrast-corrected the scan, gotten the client's approval and I'm delivering Samantha's portrait on Friday. This 5 " x 7" drawing was done in India ink & ink wash on white scratchboard.
I took a couple photos of the portrait along the way. Not the greatest photos, but I think you'll get the idea.
This is after the first application of ink (on white scratchboard, not black): I use a brush with full strength India ink for the darkest areas. I set up a palette with three to four strengths of ink wash (dark, medium, light/very light) to block in the rest. The ink washes are simply India ink thinned with water. I also use a Rapidograph pen to put in the fine details and some of the fur texture. I do that first, then fill in the rest with the brush. I'm not worried too much about neatness at this point - I will be doing a lot of scratching on the entire cat to build up detail and soften the transitions between tones. This first step is just to block things in so I know where to go next.
Skip forward a step to this one:
I've already scratched the entire surface of the cat and have added another layer of ink washes. At this stage, I don't use full strength India ink on the brush; for the really dark areas, I use the Rapidograph pen and a dark wash of ink. The scratches I've made are filled in by the new layer of ink washes which adds texture and variety of tone. You can see that this stage is much softer than the first stage. I use an X-Acto #16 blade for scratching - nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.
The next step was to scratch in select areas to tidy things up and define the fur patterns and to add ink washes where needed. Then I scratched in the eye highlights and whiskers. I also used a pencil to add the whiskers and hairs that show up against the white background. The whiskers don't show up in the image I posted, but they're there.
I did a more complete job of documenting the steps of a scratchboard drawing in this post of a golden retriever portrait.