Art 3 – Scratchboard – Due 1/31


Before you start working on your project, preview the Russ McMullins scratchboard tutorial.


and the video tutorial by Lars Erik Robinson


view google images for scratchboard

This artist is also an excellent reference:


Comment on the method of looking at light rather than dark as you draw.  How does it alter the way you usually see and usually draw?  Also comment on what you are trying to show in your drawing.  Why did you choose the natural object that you did, what did you like about it, what are your aesthetic goals with this scratchboard drawing.


3 responses »

  1. Over the past year I have been exploring the process of creating images, especially faces, without drawing outlines but instead by building up the shadows and highlights. In those cases I started with the shadows and then added the highlights. I am looking forward to trying the reverse, beginning instead with the highlights. It will make me pay closer attention to the lighter areas because, when I begin a picture by drawing the shadows, my eye immediately goes to the darker areas and I may neglect some of the highlights.
    I chose a succulent to be the subject of my scratchboard drawing. I like succulents because (in terms of shape) they look both leaf-like and flower-like while being simultaneously unique. My goal is to achieve a strong sense of dimensionality and depth in my composition.

  2. Looking at light rather than darks for this assignment helps me pay more attention to the objects I am observing. Many times I am purely looking for how to transmit the outlines of an object to paper, but using the lights and shadows of the object to capture its form is more challenging, but in a positive way.
    I decided to a leaf under one of the lamps because it will help me garner more skills and because I feel like there will be more lights and shadows to work with.

  3. Scratchboard is really a challenge for me–you have to reverse the light and shadow, build up all the values without outlining, and it requires a huge patience if you want details. I practiced a little bit on the practice board. It was hard at first, because I was still trying to make some outlines and result was a creation of ugly, unnatural lines. But once I got the basic skills and determined to forget about the outline stuff, I did make some progress and the whole process is getting more and more pleasant. Overall, I think this reverse process would really train my ability of observation and understanding of shadow&highlight.
    I chose a squirrel’s face as the subject of my scratchboard project. I was gonna choose something that I can observe directly…like a plant, but I’m really impressed by the realistic furry effect that scratchboards can create, hence I decided to save this opportunity for some furry animals. 🙂

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