This is, without a doubt, the largest commission I have ever done. Therefore, dear readers, this will be a long haul, and I intend to post my progress here on my blog as I go. I may well need the motivation, comments, and watching eyes of others to help me stick to this drawing! 🙂
A local nursing home has hired me to do a large piece of artwork for one of their hallways. The medium was my own choice, and, for better or for worse, I chose to go with scratchboard. It is one of the slowest and most detailed art forms out there to my knowledge, but if you’ve been following my blog for long, you know that I am a detail freak, so that makes this project much more interesting for me.
The scratchboard, which is 3 x 3 feet in size, needed to be custom ordered. I ordered it over a month ago as the company requires this time to make custom scratchboards. Obviously, it has arrived now. The board also has a cradle – a wooden frame mounted behind – for stability. The scratchboard with this cradle is 1 inch thick. It is heavy too – with its layers of cardboard packaging, it weighed in at 32 pounds according to UPS. The board itself is not so heavy, but even so, it was too heavy and too large for my painting easel, so I had to reinvent a way to hold this scratchboard steady as I work on it. I ended up using a hospital bed tray we have as a base. It works great because I can adjust the height as needed. I used a thin board and a C clamp to keep the board from sliding on the tray’s surface, and am using a curtain rod (this “easel” is in front of my bedroom window) to prop up the top of the scratchboard so it is fairly upright. Though it took some thinking outside the box, my homemade easel is working out perfectly so far.
Here are the tools I will be using. This is a slightly risky medium because every tool is extremely sharp! I’ve never cut myself yet, but it’s probably only a matter of time before I accidentally gash, poke or scratch myself with these wicked sharp tools. 🙂 Anyway, here is my arsenal.
And now, after all my rambling, here is the actual WIP as it looks now. In case you haven’t noticed, the hardest part of this scratchboard project so far is taking a good photo of it! Between the size and the hard-to-photograph nature of scratchboards, this is unfortunately difficult to photograph, so please try to bear with me.
So here begins a long journey. I hope you will join me and follow along as this progresses. Thank you for looking, and have a great week!