Scratchboard Portrait Update

I got more done last night and this morning. I was supposed to be doing web programming today, but the portrait kept calling – loudly.

Last night I was using a #11 exacto blade. Making fine scratches requires a needle-sharp point, so after a while the blade will get feeling dull. Today I switched to a larger blade. It has the same shape as the #11, but it’s larger. The handle is larger too. So far I haven’t changed the blade and it’s still working well.

The transition from skin to hair is tricky. I wasn’t sure if I should do the skin first and then add the hairs, or visa versa. Both ways seem to work, but I think i prefer to put the hairs in place first, and then bring the skin texture over the top to blend it.

I’m working on an 8×10 piece of Ampersand Scratchbord. It’s good stuff. The surface is nice, and the backing is durable. For illustration work I have always used Essdee Scraperboard. It’s a great product with a beautiful working surface. It’s excellent for illustrations. But, it’s more susceptible to changes in humidity – it can bow and buckle. For fine art I expect the Ampersand Scratchbord to last longer and stay flatter. When I’m finished I will spray a protective clear coat on it.

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