Scratchboard: The Peacock

Okay, I'm going to be a little lazy and just copy paste a post I wrote for another blog detailing this latest project that I finished. But to Preface it I'll explain what it's for. A few weeks ago my friends Mike and Megan decided that we missed art classes so we started meeting at a cafe in St. Paul once a week to devote an evening to doodle, sketch, experiment and get the creative juices flowing a bit. The first night we challenged each other to do something we don't usually do. I was told to do a landscape with pastels, Mike was told to do a landscape with inks (red, teal and black only) and Megan got to do a self portrait with charcoal. Thus, the assignments were born, we immediately began writing down as many ideas as we could think of, themes, mediums, locations, subjects, anything that could be mixed and matched as we saw fit. We had a great time and came up with assignments that could last us well through the summer. This endeavor also got a name, we're calling it Art Pandemonium. Last week we created a wordpress blog in order to keep track of our work and our thoughts on it. This post is about our second assignment, I'm hoping to scan and write about the first assignment tonight or tomorrow. But for now... here's the scratchboard assignment: Two weeks ago we chose scratchboard as our assignment and I think we were all a little nervous yet still excited to try a medium that was rumored to be completely unforgiving. I was inspired by a woman that works at The Wildcat Sanctuary where I volunteer every other saturday. Trista Campbell is a very talented artist and an incredibly wonderful woman, she works tirelessly for the cats at the sanctuary!

Lately I've been thinking about peacocks a lot, partially because of a performance that I have coming up that I might end up incorporating their feathers into my costume. While bumming around flickr, looking for ideas. I came across this image by dee_r and instantly knew it was perfect.

My process involved changing the image to black and white and making sure the levels were just right on photoshop, gridding off the image and creating a sketch on regular paper, tracing the image and then finally using transfer paper to get the image onto the scratchboard. Then the real work began...scratchboard is definitely a labor of love, but it felt like a medium that was well suited to my line quality (read: "I can't draw a straight line to save my life!").

I learned a lot about  line work, cross-hatching and how to treat foreground, middleground and background with this assignment. I think next time I do scratchboard I will be using a picture of my cat Midnight Moon and do a portrait of him. He is the Prince of Darkness after all and deserves his own personal portrait artist to catch him an all his glory...or at least he thinks so...

The PeacockFor my first scratchboard, I'm exceedingly happy with the results. I owe it all to wonderful inspiration and a very talented photographer.