Monday, November 21, 2011

scratchboard illustration

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. 

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