Scratchboard

Each image has its own process and its own life from capture to print. Sometimes i may take an image and re-edit the image to make it better, other times i take them and try a mix it up a bit.

An example of a Scratchboard image

This took a stock picture of a Lion i got from Istock. I really wanted to make a scratchboard effect. A scratchborad picture is a picture etched on a sheet of clay with a black coating on top. Colour scratchboard images are made by layers of clay being etched and depending on the pressure of the knife on the clay will give different colours to the image. Scratchboard images can be highly detailed and textured

Firstly I took the image and imported it into illustrator. In illustrator i had to create a brush first and saved it. I created a off black background and placed the lion on top. I selected the main colours from the lions face and mane and created my own colour palette. Using the colours i slowly built up the face starting with the darker tone painting on top of the image and from time to time turning off  the picture layer and zooming out. Once the dark tones were painted on I then painted over the top with lighter tones when needed. I then repeated the process on the mane.

I used different brush sizes depending on the type of fur. If it was the muzzle they were very quick short strokes with a thin brush, where as on the forehead longer strokes and a slightly wider brush was needed.

The reason i created it in Illustrator was because, each stroke is an individual object and if i made any strokes i didn’t like i could just delete them easily. The image is also a vector so i would be able to re-size it without any problems with pixelation.

I like and don’t like the image at the same time. I love the technique and will have to try it again with another image as i learnt a lot creating it. I am really happy with the main face of the Lion. My issue is with the mane and that it doesn’t look even or right. I know i did the right side on one day and the left on another. Although do sometimes edit images over multiple days I can defiantly see a difference in mood in my work.

Let me know what you think.

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