"Down on the Farm" - New Series

Saturday, March 09, 2013

In 2011, Laurie Barrows, the curator of the Art Can Heal program at the Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital contacted me to see if I'd be interested in showing my work there. I agreed, but our 2012 schedules didn't mesh, so we chose April 2013 for the show. The show opens in mid-April, but I don't have the exact date yet.

I decided I wanted to come up with a new series of scratchboard drawings, since scratchboard is an under-represented medium and I truly love sharing it with others. Scratchboard drawings are more time-intensive than other mediums I use, but I had months to come up with a new batch of drawings and I planned to work these drawings in a simpler style than I usually do. Well, of course, the drawings took on a mind of their own, and they're not really much less detailed. And as is always the case, although I started on the first board of this series in December of 2012, I'm feeling the time crunch to get them all finished! Having said all that, I'm really happy with how the boards are turning out and have been getting wonderful feedback as I share them on Facebook and WetCanvas.

I chose "Down on the Farm" as the theme for my show, since I have plenty of reference photos of farm animals. Completed so far are a border collie, our dog Arrow, a donkey, a cat, a chick, a sunflower and a vintage Ford tractor. Nearly finished is a pair of mini foals. I've just started on a goose and left to do are a border collie/sheep diptych, a goat, two hens, a pig and a cow. That's fifteen in total, but I'm making good progress! You can see the series and various stages of progress in my Facebook album.

"Tough Chick", 6" x 6" Ampersand Scratchbord, colored with Derwent Inktense pencils

This is one of the boards, "Tough Chick". All but two of the reference photos are my own. One of the hens I'll be drawing is from a photo by Katherine Plumer. Kat Moore, a fellow scratchboarder offered some photos of her banty chickens. She sent quite a few and I fell in love with this one.

I've been scanning a few in-progress stages of each of the boards in this series. Here are the scans of "Tough Chick", along with the reference photo. As I do with all my scratchboard drawings, I also work with a greyscale version of the photo, to give me a better idea of the tones of the image. The second greyscale image is one with adjusted contrast to give me more darks and lights.

At this stage, the scratching is mostly complete

One of the ways I'm saving a little time is by not re-scratching very much after I've added the color. If this were going to be a stand-alone drawing, I'd go back in and scratch out more of the black and re-color to build even more depth and detail. As it is, these drawings resemble tinted photographs or woodcuts, and that's perfectly ok!

An animated image of the stages


tipota June 9, 2013 at 9:57 AM  

that's incredible! love the last image that comes alive with the stages of development

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