Sparkles!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Sparkles is a papillon and her name really suits her - she's an active, enthusiastic, friendly dog. I've known her for many years and I don't think she's slowed down yet! Her owners have commissioned portraits of their other pets (Gizmo, a papillon mix and Foster, an orange tabby) and Sparkles has been on the "to do" list for a while. I had taken photos of her, but the photo we decided to use for the portrait is one that her owners provided some time after my photo shoot. Yet more time passed and I started working on black scratchboards. This portrait project finally gelled when I realized that a black scratchboard would be the perfect surface for Sparkles' portrait. I floated the idea past my clients, and although this was going to be a bit of an experiment, they agreed. This is the first time I've used my ink wash technique on a black board. I was confident that it would work, but there was no way to know until I actually did it!

I scanned various stages of the progress, which I'll explain with each image.

Here's the reference photo in both color & greyscale.


I transferred the image to the 5" x 7" board with white transfer paper and started scratching.


More scratching.


The first round of scratching is done.


Ink washes painted over the scratching. I used 3 shades of ink wash: light, medium and dark.


This is the final portrait. After the previous step, I scratched certain areas to lighten them after the ink wash. Then I used washes sparingly to fine-tune, and scratched in the whiskers and eye highlights.


Here's a detail of her face.


A time-lapse image.


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Materials used:
Saral Transfer Paper (White)
Ampersand Scratchbord
India Ink - Mixed with water to make the ink washes.
Technical Pen - For re-inking - mainly the eye area on this particular portrait.
X-Acto Knife with #11 Scalpel Blade - I used this for the majority of the scratch work.
X-Acto Knife with #16 Blade - I used this blade in a few places where I wanted to clear away larger areas of black.

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- - - All art and images ©Ann Ranlett, unless otherwise credited. All rights reserved. - - -

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