View Full Version : Little Dog - First Scratchbord - FINISHED

04-18-2011, 02:51 PM
*Deep Breath*

All right. After spending a good amount of time lurking in the forum, reading the threads, looking at the incredible eye candy artwork here, and taking part in the chat thread - I guess I'm ready to very humbly post my first WIP here. I can always use as much advice and pointers as people can give.

This is a little dog (can't remember her name) of a friend of mine. She kindly let me photograph her multitude of pets with the thought of perhaps painting them one day. I have always loved this particular pic, so I decided this would be a good subject for my first scratchbord piece.

The size is 5" x 7" on Ampersand scratchbord (all of my work should be on this support). I am using an Exacto knife for scratching. I have had to repair several parts already, and I forgot I had painted the repair black ink around the outer edge of the inside corner of his eye when I scanned it, so it's currently a mess there. The nose was the hardest part (I have included a detail shot of that). Getting the different values with that blade is not easy. The eye was also very hard - trying to get a gleam and a hazy tint to the eyeball. Yikes!

Of course, everything is still in the works and being adjusted as I go, but comments, criticisms, and tips are all very much appreciated. I need the help!

I do plan on adding color to this, at least to the eye and possibly the nose. Thanks to the tips I've already gotten from Lorna, I hope I can do that without messing it up.

Thank you for looking!

EDIT: Yes, there are fingerprints on the board, and other assorted marks. I wasn't very careful with it while working. I'll do better next time and remember to wear gloves. I didn't realize the surface was so fragile.

Diana Lee
04-18-2011, 02:58 PM
Aw, what a sweet pup! You are doing mighty fine! Excellent tool work!
Don't worry about the finger prints and such, when you spray it with the fixative they will disappear.


04-18-2011, 03:03 PM
Seriously Diana? The fingerprints will disappear with the fixative? Nice, but not sure why.

Oh, and thank you for your kind words. Please don't be afraid to critique, it's the only way I'll learn.

04-18-2011, 03:06 PM
This already seems to have so much life!

04-18-2011, 03:59 PM
There is nothing to critique - this is fantastic already! You've done a great job on ALL his parts so far.

04-18-2011, 04:02 PM
this is coming out beautifully so far!

04-18-2011, 04:37 PM
It looks great and a bunch, packed onto a 5x7.... keep going.

Harry Seymour
04-18-2011, 04:40 PM
Nancy-you are off to a great start. This is amazingly good for a first effort. You are off and running.

04-18-2011, 04:48 PM
Excellent start, Nancy! You have a good handle on the fur texture and direction, nice soft texture on the nose and the eye is coming along too.

Snuzin Susan
04-18-2011, 05:46 PM
Looks great thus far!

The fixative, as Diana says, gets rid of fingerprints and marks (it dissolves the oils that you see). I'd only say that I'd work and varying your fair a little bit so it doesn't fall perfectly even. Fur tends to overlap a tidbit, but you've got a solid foundation with the fur direction thus far. Keep it up!


04-18-2011, 07:21 PM
Nancy...this is turning out great...wonderful work on the scratching! The picture is so cute, too.

04-18-2011, 07:25 PM
Nancy, this is a wonderful first piece and on such a tiny board. Better than my first piece. You've lots of talent here and you'll do very well at scratchart just picking up tips and critiques as you go.

04-18-2011, 07:29 PM
Nancy, you are doing an excellent job. And he's such a cute little pup.

04-18-2011, 08:39 PM
Fantastic first board. Great eye! You should be proud.

04-18-2011, 09:04 PM
Absolutely wonderful job and I wish I had done so well on my first, or 99th for that matter :) :)

04-18-2011, 10:45 PM
Wow! Thank you everyone!!! I didn't expect such an incredible response. I really appreciate all of your comments!

I have actually finished the dog except for tweaking the values and details a bit. So, I'll play some more with his fur and eye then I'll scan and post. The last part is the background - always the hardest part for me, but I have an idea how I want to do it.

Thanks again everyone!

EDIT: BTW, my husband gave me the biggest compliment he has ever given me concerning my artwork. His usual comment is "Well, it's starting to look like a dog (or a cat, whichever it is)," when the painting's almost done. Today, he passed by my drafting table and glanced down and saw the dog, upside down. He said, "That's amazing! How did you get him to look so 3-d? I didn't think you would be able to do that by scratching with a knife!" :p I was just thrilled he actually said something constructive about my art! He defends himself by saying he doesn't know anything about art, so doesn't know what to say when I ask him what he thinks. He sure knew what to say this time. :lol:

04-19-2011, 12:09 AM
Well done . Eye ,highly expressive,

04-19-2011, 01:21 AM
Very nice work Nancy, nice tool work as well.


04-19-2011, 03:00 AM
Fantastic first board Nancy, you are picking scratch art up very quickly.

04-19-2011, 11:19 AM
Here's an update.

I wish this dog had more values in his fur. Even so, I still need to make a few corrections and add some diluted black ink ever so slightly to some places on his fur to deepen the value. I probably also need to make some corrections to his eye itself (the eyeball). Let me know if any of you think I scratched off too much and need to add back on his eye please. I posted a close up of it for you to look at.

I am just starting the material under him. I decided to do it differently, and I'm not happy with it, but I'll work with it until I get it right. I'll save all the detail work until the very end.

I'm so glad I took the time to closely examine the work I see posted here as well as on your websites. That's how I learned how to use my knife to scratch. So when you give me compliments on my tool work, you're really complimenting yourselves because I learned it from all of you! I never would have known what in the world to do with a knife had I not learned from the best here. :D (of course if I screw up I will not blame you guys - although that would be a nice out for me wouldn't it? ;) ).

EDIT: How in the world do you get precise scratches with an Exacto? I'm finding it hard to line up the knife and get it to scratch tiny precise marks where I want to. The marks usually end up somewhere I did not want them to be.

04-19-2011, 11:23 AM
Lorna - How do you get a rich brown for a dog's eye? I've seen your dog eyes with beautiful rich yellowish/reddish brown. Do you remember how you mixed that color? That's the color I need for this dog's eye. Thanks for your help.

04-19-2011, 12:57 PM
Wow, what a wonderful first board. You are definitely a natural at this.

04-19-2011, 01:11 PM
I am trying to decide if I should continue to extend the foreground further down to the edge or not. I still have a lot of cleaning up to do, tweak the values, add the detail, but need input on what you guys think about the foreground. Do you think I am starting to lose that 3-d effect since I added in the foreground?

For some reason I feel more hunched over my drafting table doing scratch art than when I am drawing/painting. I need to take a break now and feed my hungry stomach and rest my tired neck & shoulders. *sigh* I must be getting old. :rolleyes:

Harold - Thank you very much! I was looking at your website. I love your Hawkeye scratch art and your cottontail. I'm still looking at the others. You do beautiful work!

04-21-2011, 09:03 AM
Fantastic work!! The 3D effect is still there! This really is superb for a first piece!

04-23-2011, 11:59 AM
Okay, calling this finished, for the scratching that is. Still deciding whether or not to add color to his eyes. I tried messing around with the clayboard inks and I cannot get the rich warm color I need. Thought I'd play with some watercolors and see what I can come up with instead.

Took me forever to get the foreground done, sheesh! I painted the repair black over almost the entire foreground and rescratched a couple of times. I guess it's okay now. Better than it was at least.

So, what do you think for my very first scratchbord? I decided to give it to my friend, whose dog this is. If I'm correct, this is the dog who died recently, so it would make a nice gift I think.

04-23-2011, 01:13 PM
I think you did a wonderful job with the textures! Great first (or 15th) board!

I am sure it will be a gift treasured by your friend!

04-23-2011, 01:50 PM
I really do think it is fantastic!! I look forward to more!

04-23-2011, 03:08 PM
Your friend will really treasure this, Nancy. You did a wonderful job! I like the crop on it too.

04-23-2011, 08:46 PM
Nancy, this is a beautiful finish. I love the fur, the eye and the texture on the blanket. You are a natural! When's the next one?

04-23-2011, 09:52 PM
Nancy, this is beautiful, I could just stroke that silky fur and look into those lucious eyes. Wonderful first board, do more.

04-23-2011, 10:25 PM
Bloody amazing First board! No wonder the hubby sat up and noticed...he sounds a lot like mine actually, so from where you come I know! :)

Now back to the board. You have such good control/command of the tools for a beginner, truly astonishing really! I and a lot more I'm sure are very impressed with your work and looking forward to seeing what you do next!

04-23-2011, 10:42 PM
*Deep Breath*

I chuckled when I read this cuz I remember the first time I posted one of mine...I actually sat for the longest time with my finger on the submit button. But it was the best thing I ever did! My WC experience has been like a family that is nothing but inspiring and a crutch when one is needed. My BFF's. So GLAD you jumped in too! :clap: :clap: :grouphug:

04-23-2011, 10:46 PM
Thank you so much Cathy, Ann, Lesley, Karen, Irfan, and Pam!!!! ((hugs))

I have to admit that I used the black repair ink several times as well as a black gel pen. Lol! Those gel pens work wonders for small repairs. :p

I have started another dog, owned by the same woman as the last one. Then I was thinking of doing a cat. It's unusual for me to do so many dogs. I'm usually working on a feline of some type. I'm doing a series of 5x7's for practice, then I'll graduate to 8x10's. I bought 12 - 5x7's so I'll have quite a few small pieces to show all of you.

Pam - I was that way when I first started to show my colored pencil artwork. I didn't think I'd be nervous about showing this, but I was. :rolleyes:

Thank you again for all your very kind words!! :)

04-23-2011, 11:19 PM
You don't/didn't have a thing to be nervous about...this turned out just wonderful. Very well done Nancy!

04-24-2011, 02:11 AM
You don't/didn't have a thing to be nervous about...this turned out just wonderful. Very well done Nancy!

I agree with Lorna and all of the above, fantastic first board. :clap:

04-24-2011, 08:47 AM
Wow great first board I'm looking forward to seeing the next one :)

04-24-2011, 09:44 AM
Nancy...wonderful piece and amazing first board.

04-24-2011, 04:41 PM
Thank you Lorna, Judy, Jen and Rodman! It was probably a fluke. :p I'll find out with the next one.

04-24-2011, 08:21 PM
Fantastic Nancy. So lifelike!!

04-25-2011, 03:55 AM
Absolutely smashing work Nancy. Your friend would be thrilled!!

04-25-2011, 12:37 PM
I showed my friend this piece yesterday and she loved it! Thank you all for all of your help, advice, and great demo and instructional threads!

Diana Lee
04-25-2011, 12:47 PM
Great finish!! The important question is....did you have fun? You sure made it look like you did.


04-25-2011, 10:32 PM
Such a good capture of this sweet innoscent looking doggie. Keep up the good work!!!

04-25-2011, 10:56 PM
Great work. Love the eye. Cute little pup.

04-26-2011, 01:22 AM
Yes Diana, I did have a LOT of fun!!! :D