View Full Version : Gramps WIP

04-20-2011, 12:48 PM
Hi Everybody,
This is a photo I took a few years ago at the Miami Metro Zoo of a back lit Silver Back Gorilla.

This is a 10x14" colored pencil painting I did of him a few years ago. I used white pencil on black paper which is the same way of thinking one uses when scratching - light application for darks and heavy application for lights. Once I got the values right, I added color with pencils and crayons. I thought it was fun to put blue and magenta on him. I called this painting "Gramps."


This is the beginnings of "Gramps" on scratchboard. I'm doing a WIP because I'm seeking your critiques and advice. It's on 5x7" Ampersand Scratchboard using #11 X-Acto. I just painted over some scratching on his chin and am waiting for it to dry.


Now that i see it posted here, I'm not too happy with it!

04-20-2011, 01:15 PM
What do you mean you're not happy with it?!! It looks great! I really like the colored pencil one that you did too - and it looks like it will translate over to scratchboard really well. I can't wait to see more of this one, Sammy! Go for it!!:clap:

Harry Seymour
04-20-2011, 01:30 PM
Sammy- as you know dissatisfaction is simply away to keep modifying a piece until you are satisfied. Only you know how you are feeling about your WIP. What you have in this work is the making of a wonderful board and if the photo, and penciled work are any indication--it should be a great one.

04-20-2011, 01:35 PM
Sammy : this is shaping up very well .waiti9ng for updates

04-20-2011, 01:42 PM
Sammy It is looking great you have his personality already. Hang in there!

04-20-2011, 03:47 PM
Sammy, without a doubt things look different on the monitor than they do sitting in front of you. But I gotta say, you are off to a great start with this one. Can't wait to see the updates.

04-20-2011, 04:07 PM
What a cool photo!! I love his pose and expression. Looks like a king on his throne.

Awesome start, Sammy. I'll be following along. :thumbsup:

04-20-2011, 04:33 PM
Nice start Sammy .... have fun with it.

04-20-2011, 04:53 PM
It's looking pretty darn good to me Sammy.

04-20-2011, 05:06 PM
Sammy...it's looking great from my side of the screen...I really like your colored pencil version, too.

04-20-2011, 09:22 PM
Ditto from me, too....it's going to be beautiful when done.

04-21-2011, 05:49 AM
I always see flaws with my works after I post them. For some reason seeing it on the monitor makes them pop out.
I'm with the others though....It looks like a good start to me :thumbsup:
I see that old guy's expression a lot....everytime I look in the mirror :D
Keep scratchin'....I'll be back for more for sure

04-21-2011, 07:28 AM
Allan belongs in a zoo more than Gramps does :lol:

Love the cp work. No doubt the scratch will end up just as good

04-21-2011, 10:16 AM
Love the CP and I know I am going to love the SB one!!:) Great start!

Diana Lee
04-21-2011, 01:07 PM
Nice start Sammy .... have fun with it.I agree with Rod. Just have fun with it!


04-21-2011, 03:25 PM
Let's just say that you are more daring with color than I am and this looks fantastic. :clap:

04-21-2011, 11:50 PM
The coloured pencil is a winner so why should the scratchboard not also be one.

04-22-2011, 01:05 AM
Great start Sammy. I will be looking ofrward to viewing your next update.

04-22-2011, 04:58 PM
Wow you are a tough cookie on yourself there Sammy! I see great stuff happening here! Just give yourself a pat on the back maybe a little pep talk in the mirror...Like this
Then I guarantee you'll like it as much as we do!

04-22-2011, 05:47 PM
You people are so encouraging and you are greatly appreciated.

A big thanks to Emily, Harry, Vendat, Tod, Lynn, Lorna, Karen, Patrick, Irfan, Diana, tigress and Mark for your kind words.

Ken, Thank you. You're right. The monitor does expose everything, good and bad. I had surgery on my left eye a short while ago and sometimes I can't see what I'm scratching. But, there it is, plain as day on the monitor.

Brett, I believe Gramps is the king on his throne. We were at that zoo a few months ago and he is moving around like an old man. Time is so unkind! But your encouragement is most kind.

Jen, you know that in the last two years, I haven't been doing much in the way of art due to my frame of mind. Scratchboard has certainly caught my interest and I'm in my studio on Tuesdays and Wednesday again. Dropping in there for a few minutes here and there all week long, too. Your friendship and encouragement are appreciated.

Allen. Thank you. I'm sorry that you see that expression in your mirror everyday. I'm not sure if Gramps is sad or angry. Maybe both. Smile at yourself tomorrow and blow yourself a big kiss!!!! Watch the video that Pamelalbd recommends.

Diane, color is what excites me about art. I'm going to have to learn to use it with scratchboard. Thank you.

Pamela, I tried your suggestion but had a difficult time dancing around on the bathroom sink. Actually, I have given myself affirmations in the mirror in the past. I need to point out to myself the successes in each painting and not just the boo boos. Thanks for doing that for me.

04-22-2011, 05:53 PM
Here's an update on Gramps. Head and face but no body yet. I need to work on his eyes more. I think that he goes to the same hair stylist as Donald Trump. It was frustrating to scratch the transition from straight up long hair to short hair growing down at the side.
I will be traveling next week and may not get back to this until the following week.
C & C is always welcome.


Harry Seymour
04-22-2011, 07:07 PM
Looking good Sammy.

04-23-2011, 03:23 PM
Oh yes he's looking good! This definitely your thing. Have a good trip!

04-29-2011, 08:37 PM
Coming along nicely. Love the color pencil too.

04-29-2011, 08:57 PM
Looking very good to these eyes!

04-29-2011, 09:09 PM
Changes in fur direction and length can be tough but you've knocked it over with ease - well, that's the way it looks. Nice!!

05-04-2011, 03:25 PM
Harry, Jen, Angela, Lorna and Patrick, thanks you for the kind words and encouragement. I think "Gramps" is finished. He's been sprayed lightly with a workable fixative but no varnish yet. I have a few more questions.

1) Should a board be wiped with a damp cloth before varnishing?

2) Had anyone found a pen with white ink for signing boards? Tell me how you sign your work. I scratched my name in four times and then painted it out. There must be an easier way.


05-04-2011, 05:08 PM
Sammy, Great finish! You did some nice work on all those whirling hairs and I love his expression. I think I would have gone crosseyed!

05-04-2011, 11:27 PM
Oh, he looks fabulous! Well done Sammy :)

Harry Seymour
05-04-2011, 11:31 PM
Sammy, this is so wonderful. I love the expression and the power he exudes which is a testament to your skillful scratching. I simply spray and never varnish and I scratch my signature right on the board.

05-05-2011, 01:44 AM
Sammy : I fully endorse what Harry has said

05-05-2011, 10:08 AM
Wonderful work. I'm sure there are archival white pens for signing. I know I have a silver pen for signing prints. Never thought to use it for signing boards. It would have to be a pretty tiny tip. I use my scratch tool for signing original boards, but I don't see a reason you couldn't use an archival pen. I had a hard time using a tool for my signature until I tried the Tungston tool. I found I could not control the knife points as easy as this tool with the round point.

05-05-2011, 11:12 AM
Jen, Dusty, Harry, Venkat and Lynn thank you for your kind words.
Harry, I use a spray varnish to protect the board.
Lynn, thank you for the info re scratching the signature with the tungston tool. Micro-Mark has one and I've been thinking of ordering it. I'm done thinking and will order it. Mark said that he sharpened his and I'm wondering what one uses to sharpen it. Just sandpaper?

05-05-2011, 01:51 PM
This is looking great.

As for the signature, I say look at the best example I can think of,... Rodman. He says it is easy "draw" the signature. He uses the small red scratch tool that comes with the small board kits, if I recall correctly.:crossfingers: If I am wrong, pretend this is Allan and give him the grief.:lol: Rick

05-05-2011, 02:08 PM
Sammy...he turned out wonderful! No I would not use a wet or even damp cloth to wipe off the board before spraying, the reason being, if there is any residue of ink left (and trust me there is) on the board it will smear into the light spots or worse yet the ink will come off where you don't want it to. Take one of those colored lint free cloths you can buy at a dollar store and wipe it to remove dust particles then spray it...you'll be surprised at how black it will be! Another thing I've tried is a can of air...the type you can get to blow out your keyboard. I use the tungsten tool to sign mine, but the red handled pointy tool from ampersand works just as well.

Great job on Gramps!

05-05-2011, 03:49 PM
Very impressive, Sammy. Great lighting and textures. :thumbsup: