Friday, April 29, 2011

Gritty Kitty - scratchboard portrait

Here's a new commissioned pet portrait of kitty 'Columbine', thanks again to Pete ( @GunGeekATX ) who's awesome dog Clyde has graced us with his likeness previously on the blog.  Full-disclosure, I've never met either of these animals in person, but I feel like they'd be my pals if I ever do.  In fact, I've been meaning to post the colored version of Clyde's portrait, so here you go!

I'm having fun becoming more comfortable with scratchboard, and noticing the different aesthetic that it offers in comparison to black ink on white clayboard.  My scraper tool is a much finer instrument than my pens of choice, so the level of detail coming out on scratchboard is a different beast entirely.  Less cartoony, I'd say, for better or worse.  The challenge, I find, is in reaching a satisfying level of white value in the drawings.  This one is more successful than the previous cats in that regard, although I am fond of the shadowy gothic feel of a darker scratchboard.  One of these days I promise I'll do a colored scratch piece, wouldn't that be fun?

EDIT: No time like the present right?!

Gritty Kitty ain't so pretty, but it's really thick
It fits my catbox, oh so snug, it always does the trick
I love to pour it on my toes, and squish, and squish, and squish
It ne'er offends my tender nose like a smelly fish
It's texture is a joy to me, it's just as smooth as silk
It makes my little whiskers twitch
It stays crunchy even in milk
I may not be the President, I may not be the Pope
But as long as I have Gritty Kitty, I shall never mope.

... Ren & Stimpy anyone?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Custom Drawn Pet Portraits

If anyone needs gift ideas this Mother's and Father's day, consider a personalized drawing!

Based on your favorite photo, these 5"x7" drawings are a unique personalized piece of art for friends and family on any occasion.  Framed and ready for display on the desk or wall.

Just provide me your favorite digital photo and a couple weeks' lead time.

5"x7" - scratchboard / pen & ink
$110 (cash, check, or paypal)
Spray finished and framed.  FedEx shipping.

Cats con Crows - scratchboard pet portrait

Today's drawing is a scratchboard portrait of my dear friends Kyle and Christie's cats Spyder and Maverick.  As we're all fans of crows, it seemed fitting to replace the couch from the original photo with something more ominous.  Now I find myself wondering, who's the predator and who's the prey?!

Since we last spoke I've created a new facebook page, so stop by and say hello!  It's a little easier for me to make minor posts there with images and links, so if you happen to be stopping by the blog and wondering where the action is... well, now you know!  The new page is also linked to my twitter, so that gives you a couple added ways to keep up.  

Something new I'm doing via facebook/twitter (but not here on the blog) is to provide links to exciting things that I'm finding... other creative themed blog posts, tutorials, and anything else I suspect would benefit or interest you guys.  Despite all the distractions that the iPad brings, it does offer some fantastic methods of directing you towards relevant articles while cutting out the fat.  I highly recommend the ZITE app, for customizable content that updates constantly.  Most of my links are coming from there.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

David Lynch Portrait Illustration

click to see detail
Here's the final scan of my David Lynch scratchboard portrait.  I found myself taking a different approach from last week's Stephen King.  Rather than scratching with a heavy hand and the intention of making bold white shapes, I opted instead to very delicately mark the surface with small lines that add up to a lot of gradual tonal shifts and a softer focus.  It's a slower process, but one I enjoyed quite a bit and plan on exploring further.  

I spent some time in photoshop testing red velvet curtains in the background and some eerie coloring throughout, but couldn't decide if it benefitted the image enough to justify.  Sometimes it's hard to beat a plain old, bold black and white drawing.  Although admittedly, seeing the small version below I certainly don't mind it.  Who knows, maybe I'll keep tinkering with it.  

The scratchboard itself is an 8"x10" and took two or three hours in preparation, and maybe seven to nine of actual scratching.  Here are some thumbnail sketches and a color test...