View Full Version : "Old Silver", Scratchboard WIP

08-19-2007, 10:03 AM
This is from the most magnificent reference on 'morguefile' by a poster called Lemai. It's 5" x 7".

Working with black and white, 'values' are one of the most important tools we have. I've included a couple of close-ups to show how I'm approaching things. For the fur, things can get really boring if you don't vary the values so the close-ups, while they look messy, show how I try to vary the amount of black to white ratio. Value changes don't need to be massive to change something boring to something quite interesting. Subtlety is a good weapon. I have no real idea if I'll be successful with so much fur, or hair - as it's a gorilla, but that is the intention. There's still heaps of hair to do in the top left.

With the other close-up, I've done it at the point where I have only one layer on some areas, but you can see how I'll build that up with cross hatching to get the shades I am looking for as other areas are shown already finished. You can still see all the pencil areas which tell me where to go.

I'm not often one to do the eyes first as if I do, the best bit is done. It's sometimes nice to do them late in the piece so that I have something to look forward to. The danger is that if I stuff up, I may have wasted a lot of work, but this way, it keeps you on your toes :lol:




08-19-2007, 11:14 AM
Wow Patrick, your work is magnificent!!!! I am loving this.

08-19-2007, 02:30 PM
This is quite striking, such presence in your gorilla! I am exhausted thinking about how exacting this work is though, and your control of light/dark values provides a good study for me!! Thank you for sharing!!

:clap: :thumbsup: :clap:

08-19-2007, 02:31 PM
Oh Patrick, how quickly you became masteful at the scratch...how do you make a "hair" that varies from root to tip, by pressure?
thanks for the closeups...they give me some really good direction....and your control over the stroke is amazing check out your first close ups!
watching very closely

08-19-2007, 07:49 PM
Thank you very much guys :) :)

Colleen, I guess I took a look at my previous stuff and saw that I needed to work on my technique. One thing I do is regularly vary the angle I hold the tool at. Changing the angle of the blade by turning it in my hand helps with variety, and pressure, yes. I also change from starting the stroke at the root to the tip depending on what I see. I'm not sure if I think too much about this, but seem to do it instinctively - that may land me in strife so I'd better think about that one more for the future.

08-19-2007, 11:31 PM
nice WIP Patrick, he's looking great and your demonstration is great. I am working on getting a WC article published on scratchboard, just waiting to get final approval.

Gordon's art
08-20-2007, 07:17 AM
another great piece Patrick (BAH)
and Cathy that would be great if you could get that off the ground then we can all give you and patrick a run for your money LOL

08-20-2007, 08:01 AM
Cathy that would be fantastic. Hope they approve it :clap:

Thanks Gordon - mate - pal - :lol:

I'm in the home strait with this one. Just some tweaking of the eyes and a bit of overall balancing up


08-20-2007, 08:32 AM
ooooohhhhhh!!! What a personality this guy has!!! And BIG! Top notch Patrick!

08-20-2007, 08:51 AM
Hi Patrick,
WOW this is great :-) I love it, you are becoming a master at this too!!
Yes, I can't tell you what it is about the eyes, but they will look better with a tweak. And that is the only thing I can see that isn't fabulous! I can't tell you what isn't quite right, possibly the lid on the right eye is too light and the highlights don't quite match, but I know for you that would be an easy fix ;-)
Your method for getting the hairs in there is really fine! I just love that texture on his nose, mouth and brow, downy soft. I have to say, seems like you have the Midas touch!

08-20-2007, 05:16 PM
I haven't worked in scratch board for a while now, been concentrating on pastels, but I'm sure getting a kick at seeing so many get on the band wagon to discover this wonderful art form and doing so fantastic at it. With so many interested in it, the idea of someday seeing an association and a journal and shows for the scratcher becomes more real.

Patrick you have an instinct for this and your work is phenomenal. This old boy just jumps off the page and the variety of shading and texture is so on.

Texas Cricket
08-20-2007, 11:22 PM
I know nothing about scratchboard, but, I do know this is amazing. Thank you so much for posting the detail pics, amazing!
Take care,

08-21-2007, 12:16 AM
I'm in awe yet again, Patrick, at your masterly technique in yet another medium. I studied "Old Silver" for some time, and then went back to a number of your other works and have concluded that a significant factor (one among many...) in your renderings in different media that render them exceptional is your incredibly accurate eye for the effective value range in each work. Perhaps I pick on that because it's a specific discipline with which I constantly struggle - and usually come up short. Maybe it's that your recent works have been scratchings, which live or die according to the success with which the artist perceives and renders values. I don't know if you consider value range in each piece in a strict, analytical way, or if it is more intuitive and your success in that regard is "simply" the priceless fruit of much experience and practice. Either way, I'd love to see you hold forth on the topic sometime, perhaps using some of your scratchings as illustrative material.

Still with great admiration,
Dave in SD

Carolina Angie
08-21-2007, 12:32 AM

This is excellent - as is ALL your work! :clap: :envy: :clap:

I'm a long time lurker on this forum and plan to post some day but first, I need to find my way out of the "ADVANCED" animal and wildlife forum that my computer seems to be permanetly stuck on. :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

I'm looking for the "BEGINNER" animal and wildlife forum where I may eventually get up the nerve to post a picture or two. Directions? Please! :confused:

08-21-2007, 02:32 AM
Thanks very much everyone. I really appreciate all the nice comments and often wonder what I do to deserve them as - well, read the bit to Dave below. I often have no idea how I do what I do - seriously!!

Dave, I do things instinctively, no doubt about it. I spend more time thinking about values than I do about colour when I'm working with pastels or other media, but still, I tend to try and draw/paint what I see. I hear other people talking about cools and warms, complementaries and contrasting colours, etc etc. I just tend to do what I think works. Maybe, if I sat down and looked at what I've done over the last few months, I might find that the complementaries and other things are in nearly the right places, but I'm not sure as I've never really tested it.

With black and white, values are pretty much all we've got to work with though, so yes, a bit more thought there - I think - maybe..... :lol: I am a paradox. I have the patience to sit here and put all these scratches in, but as to thinking about it, that takes time, urgh! And brainpower, double urgh!!

Angie, I started out in the beginner's section - my shower. Oh, sorry, that was my singing :lol: Problem is, I'm still there :D

I think I'm finished now. I've been contemplating colouring him, and may still do when I pluck up the courage. For the moment, I'm putting him aside.


08-21-2007, 09:30 AM
Wow Patrick this is magnificent!!! I love the look on his face! That fur is out of this world!

Carolina Angie
08-21-2007, 10:30 AM
Angie, I started out in the beginner's section - my shower. Oh, sorry, that was my singing :lol: Problem is, I'm still there :D


You are the first person I've known to be able to paint in the shower. :eek: I guess I can see it being possible with oils but how on earth do you get the pastels to stay on the canvas? How do you keep the paper from getting soggy??? :confused:

I thought you were good before but now I think you are incredible!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: