Process for my scratchboard illustration dealing with gambling addiction.
I've pretty much memorized how to draw my friend, Kyle Katterjohn's face by now, but I asked him for reference anyway. This project was exciting because it allowed me to get my feet wet with scratchboard as a medium, and I found it much easier to invent most information. There are a lot of differing opinions when it comes to using reference--many condemn it, complaining it undermines the artist, while others are enthusiastic advocates, claiming the more available information, the better. Personally, I would like to do be able to draw without it, I feel chained to the photograph when using it, and find drawing tends to be much more creative, expressive, and altogether more enjoyable when drawing from my head. However I find it easy to get frustrated with concepts like anatomy, shadow, and color without it--so for the time being I have been still bound to it.
I hope that this illustration will prove to be a landmark in breaking away from this habit. Perhaps because this time around I was dealing with line and value monochromatically, but I found myself barely looking at the reference and focusing entirely on the illustration, inventing flying poker chips by the handfuls (about 9 poker chips will fit into one hand at a time). I felt I was using the reference as it is meant to be used, as a guide rather than a crutch.