Sunday, January 29, 2012

One of my craziest endeavors

Years ago, I took a class in Scientific Illustration and I loved it, partly because it was the antithesis of everything I learned from my "abstract is the only art" professors in college. The point is to draw the item exactly as you see it, in actual size, every detail lovingly rendered, with no interpretation. This assignment was to work on scratchboard*, and I chose as my subject a elbow-length silk knitted fingerless glove from the 1900s. As soon as I started I knew it was an insane idea, but I'd seen people do larger and more complicated works in scratchboard, so I carried on. As much as I love scratchboard and scientific illustration, I doubt I will ever do anything this labor-intensive again.

*Scratchboard is a thin board covered in a layer of smooth white clay, then a layer of black ink, and a pointed tool is used to carefully scratch away the black ink and reveal the white underneath.