View Full Version : What is the secret?

03-24-2011, 09:50 AM
Somewhere along the line, I missed something in my personal training in the art of drawing. I was trained on comic books, and I find I tend to generalize how things looks, instead of getting at the detail. Scratchboard artists, it seems, tend to thrive on the details. I did my monkey the other day and posted it. The monkey took roughly 6 hours. Rodman told me the best thing I could do is slow down... I think it was rodman... and I'm sitting here wondering How in the world do I do that? Can someone tell me the secret of getting at the details? Are there posted steps somewhere for doing this? For the most part, I'm a fantasy artist... but my work could be vastly improved by a good dose or reality mixed in.

03-24-2011, 10:10 AM
I would suggest a life drawing class. A university, art guild or even art museums sometimes offer them to the public or members. learning to draw the human form was the best detail instruction I got. But there are a lot of ways to de-fleece the feline.

03-24-2011, 10:37 AM
I hate to say it....but.... Rod is right. :D Not because I don't want Rod to be right :D But because it DOES take a new scratcher (or an older one) a lot of time to get the details on a piece. For instance the piece I'm workin on now, the fox, is only a 5x7 but I have spent well over 8 hours on it. I'm still not half done! I've been doin this since late 07, and I am getting quicker.
I've found the longer I have worked in this medium the quicker I have become.....but the results I get on a piece that I have done in scratch, is more gratifying than if I had done it in half the time by using graphite or other mediums. Mostly due to the details that can be achieved.
I have learned to be patient.....sorta :rolleyes: but trust me.....It's worth the wait when ya sit back and look at a piece upon completion.

Now also take in mind I haven't had a chance to look at your piece yet....
but I will :) I gotta get some sleep first :cool:

If you are the type who gets bored quickly while working on a piece.....try doing two boards during the same time frame....that way you can switch to the other one when one gets....stale.
Whatever you do....just remember....take your time....and have fun with it.
That's what it's all about after all.....Right? :)

03-24-2011, 10:43 AM
For what it's worth, my brain only see the details. So in order for me to capture realism. I have to slow down and constrait on color and shape first. Sometimes this can be difficult for my brain, so I turn my work upside down. Yes upside down. This stops my brain from seeing detail. After the color and shape are correct, now I have a good foundation to build the detail. Hope this helps

03-24-2011, 10:53 AM
I lied.....I looked at your Monkey.....That really sounded strange!
Any way......I posted a reply :thumbsup:
Keep at it Matt! It's a Great first scratch!
and after you get some Ampersand in hand.....You'll be doin better ones in no time :thumbsup:

03-24-2011, 02:14 PM
"Slow down" is a very important piece of advice for all of us although it can be hard to explain. I guess, just focus on the spot you're working - the contour, use several layers to build up to white, don't rush through it because then you fall back onto the generalizations of how fur, hair, skin, ect. is supposed to look rather than the way it actually does. Ampersand is much more conducive to working slow than paper. I started out on paper too... You're going to LOVE Ampersand!

03-24-2011, 05:53 PM
I read in either a book or old post, that someone used to sketch in white pencil or white charcoal pencil on black construction paper first. This has helped me because then I see where I need to elaborate or add detail to give it more dimension without screwing with the scratchboard immediately.

03-24-2011, 07:35 PM
I find that if I am painting with brushes, I have to work hard to get any detail at all, but scratchboard is perfect for detail. I also find that if I am wanting to rush things, I'll start another one or two. That way, I always can have two or three going at different stages (one just started, one halfway through and one nearly done). That way, I can indulge the detail freak in me if I'm starting to rush the one I've just started. All I do is shove that to one side and grab one of the more complete ones. It's a psychological trick that seems to work for me.

03-25-2011, 01:30 AM
Yup...slow and steady wins the race when it comes to detail. I'm not saying it should take forever but don't hurry. Your board will last longer and you'll be more satisfied with the results. There's a great thread in the stickies at the top of the forum...I think it's called Close-up Study or something like that...great detail shots of various things (fur, skin, metal, glass, etc) might be worth checking out.:)

03-25-2011, 08:04 PM
Yes I hear where you are coming from. I too know I need to slow down because I love detail. Thanks for the tip lorna-I will check it out