Many people can’t believe that my very realistic animal artwork is created just from scratches into an ink coated board, but that is exactly how each of my works is drawn. I work in the amazing medium of Scratchboard, which helps bring my animals and wildlife to life in a hyper-realistic way that no other medium can!!
Scratchboard is a unique medium because it is subtractive. I start with a solid black ink coated board and scratch away the ink with sharp tools to reveal a layer of white clay that is beneath the ink. The more I scratch the lighter that area will become, allowing me to create a range of tones. Some of the tools I use are a xacto knife, sandpaper, tattoo needles and fiberglass brushes. Because these tools leave quite fine marks, the medium is great for realistic details, especially fur and feathers! After I scratch out the animal in black and white I can choose to leave it that way or color in the scratches with transparent colored inks.
I have been creating animals in scratchboard for almost 20 years, but I still find it exciting when they start to come to life out of the blackboard! Their individual personality and expression are revealed scratch by scratch until I feel that I have captured a little piece of their spirit.
So while it can be hard to believe, every hair, dot, and dimple is scratched by hand – my works are not photographs! Large works can take several months to…
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