November Scratchboards

Ball Advertising, ChronicleHE, Newsday

Two months since switching over to digital illustration, and with a few exceptions, I’ve been sticking mainly with black and white work, and mostly in a style that is very close to what I was doing prior to the switch. Almost all of the clients this month have been clients that I’ve been working with for many years, and all of them so far seem to like the change. The work is transported easier, I’ve eliminated a step for them (scanning the art), and so far, the work hasn’t changed drastically.

The illustration above was for Newsday. A same day assignment that just 4 months prior would have involved a trip to the copy shop to enlarge the artwork and then faxing the illustration for the client to use as finished art (which the client would then have to scan).

The illustration to the left was for the Chronicle of Higher Education (if I’m remembering correctly), and another one for the same client is pictured below. In this one I was able to use the cloning feature to repeat the ‘face’ in the flag.

One of the rare ‘new’ clients that I had this month was a midwest advertising agency who wanted a long horizontal farm scene. I don’t quite remember the client or usage on this. This was rather large, measuring about 15 inches wide, and I discovered one of the problems with working on a ‘computer screen’: the difficulty in seeing a large illustration ‘as a whole’. You can reduce the illustration in size to see the ‘big picture’, but it isn’t quite the same as ‘stepping away’ from a work on your drawing board, and you have to be careful that you aren’t compartmentalizing yourself as you work on it. I frequently will find myself, when working on a large piece, really getting jazzed about little details, and then finding that the illustration as a whole doesn’t work together. A larger screen is one solution (which I switched to on later computers), but awareness of the problem seems to help the most. I still haven’t completely got a grip on the problem, but I am getting better I think.

I’ve included a few ‘detail images’ below since the long horizontal has to be reprinted so small here.

I also had a few other ‘same day’ assignments from Newsday. I wasn’t crazy about how either of these turned out. One of them was my first attempt at a caricature image since going digital, of a couple of NY politicians (don’t remember the names), and the other was a ‘sand castle’ scene in which I had to draw some kids at the beach, and both came out rather awkward looking. On the ‘sand castle’ one, I experimented a little bit using a digital spatter airbrush technique in order to try and emulate ‘sand’ to mixed results.