B&W Scratch Board Fish: Another Demo

Scratch Board Artwork of a Fish.

Another piece that never saw the lght light

So I did a demo, again, and I ended up, again, with a piece of artwork that gets no fame, no glory. Kinda like doing assignments for school or for yourself if you are self teaching. Those precious works of art that sit forever in your portfolio or in a flat file. Or maybe, just maybe, your mom still has room on her fridge for some of you little gems.

I’m posting this Demo I Did awhile ago, then back to storage

I’ve been busy plus I’ve been working with Folio Academy and with a few projects for hire. I’m not allowed to post the work from the projects because my clients don’t want them visible before their products release. So I decided to start from scratch. (pun intended) So I dug this out – a scratch board I did a few years ago for my R.O.P. art class in California. I liked the piece but it never saw the light of day – it was a demo. The class loved it. I am their favorite scratch board artist and I’m not even a scratch board artist. Plus, this little guy finally gets to rear his scratchy little face.
There there my little fishy friend, like my little wizard friend, you finally get your 15 minutes.

Black and White Art Work is a Good Place to Learn Good Design

A good illustration should work well in black and white if it is going to work well in color. So whether you are working in black and white, or color, you want to design your drawing, work out the details. Work out your value patterns, and design. Mark Summers is a master of black and white and when he colors one of his Illustrations, it still reads very well because it works so well in black and white first.

My Favorite Scratch Board Artist is Mark Summers. 

Composers ~mark summers
I find scratch board art kind of tedious, Scratching away so little at a time. But for those who enjoy it, it could be realy enjoyable. I would like to see how Mark Summers works. His stuff kicks my butt. I guess what I’m saying is that if you really want to go scratch board, you  should look to Mark Summers, the Illustrator not the game show host. I am not sure if his just looks better nest to mine or if it is really that good. Nope, I can tell, his is really that good. He is quite a craftsman and he has found his niche. Look how he has orchestrated each line rather than just scratching haphazardly like it did. Sweet! Way to go Mr. Summers.

You can’t just fix a bad design with good color

If it don’t work in Black and White, it ain’t gonna work in color. 

A good painting will also look good in Black and White. That is to say, if you can’t work out your value patterns in black and white, you won’t be able to just fix it with color. Have you ever heard of a grisaille, (that was a tough one to sound out, let alone spell) It’s a black and white under painting. I think the word gray, or grey, as I like to spell it, comes from the same root.

What is a Grisaille and how do you pronounce that?

Grisaille (/ɡrɨˈz/ or /ɡrɨˈzl/French: gris [ɡʁizaj] ‘grey’) (Giz-eye is how I pronounce it) is a term for painting executed entirely in monochrome or near-monochrome, usually in shades of grey. ~Wikipedia 

Work out your lights and darks before you add color

So, where was I? Ho yeah, it is often wise, especially for beginners, to work out you lights and darks before you move to color. I like to give it the squint test. Squint at your work and see if it reads well. Do the wrong things disappear? Do the right things stand out?
The under painting can be in a sepia or other tone too, for a nice effect, it doesn’t have to be BLACK and White.

Light and Shadow

Where is your light source? Is it in the picture? If so, you shouldn’t have anything in the painting that is brighter than the light source.

Are the shadows, cast, core etc, in the right places? I am thinking that the cast shadow in this piece is not dark enough.

Do you have reflected light in the right places?

Just add Color, or Colour as my UK friends like to spell it.

If you are painting digitally, like in Photoshop or on the iPad, you will enjoy the ability to undo. If you are using water colors then you can just glaze transperant colors over you black and white under-painting. AKA Grisaille.

If you are using oil paints, you may want to try a water color, acrylic, or gwash, (i better look that up) Gouache. The oil paint goes right over the aqueous paints without disturbing them and it works really well. You should see how Robert Barrett uses gouache, for under-paintings to create a beautiful effect. He calls it a “Rub-out” technique.



Working with Color