This video shows the steps of tracing the reference photo and transferring the tracing to the scratchboard surface.
Time-lapse video showing phase-4 of the rendering process.
Pencil Stage The pencil stage for this project was different from my typical illustration project. In a typical project the pencil stage is used to figure out content and composition, but for this project the only purpose of the pencil stage was to make an exact tracing of the reference photo and to transfer that tracing to a piece of scratchboard.
Brand New School provided me with such accurate photo reference that all I needed to do was draw the photos as accurately as possible, in my style (the only alteration was to the hair). There was essentially no creativity required on my part–the creativity was in the idea and the shooting of the reference photos, both of which were provided by Brand New School. My only job was to translate the photos into scratchboard drawings that had the look of old-world wood engravings.
However, my not being in on the creative aspect of this project was not a source of disappointment for me. Some projects require that I handle the entire creative process from working out the idea, content, and composition, to doing the final rendering. For other projects, my only job is to make a clean rendering of a photograph. I find both types of assignments challenging and rewarding.
The scratchboard medium, invented in the latter part of the nineteenth century (its heyday was the first half of the twentieth century), was developed primarily for converting continuous tone images such as drawings, paintings, and photographs into line art that could be printed effectively on porous papers; newsprint for example. Although the halftone process, developed in the last years of the 1800's, could be used to print continuous tone images, the process was expensive and the quality poor. Scratchboard drawings were often less expensive to produce than a halftone, and depending on the artist's skill level, provided a more attractive image with superior reproduction quality. Although scratchboard was initially a utilitarian medium, many artists saw its potential for creative expression and began using it as a creative medium.