If you live in San Francisco's Nob Hill or Pacific Heights you may have recently noticed a guy "leering" at your dog, maybe even taking pictures. Well I can't account for every weirdo out there but if it was me you saw behaving that way, I can explain. I was merely looking for inspiration for my newest series, Doggies in Jalopies. These little hellhounds will be showing as part of Less is More, a group show at 111 Minna Gallery. The show opens Friday, April 4th, 5pm- late.
Howl I Get Through??
These guys are all done on Claybord. Claybord is basically a scratchboard without the black layer on top. It lets me add ink and paint then scratch, scrape or sand it away wherever I like. Here are some pictures showing my process for working on this addictive surface.
I start with a basic pencil sketch using a Col-Erase (violet) pencil. Any pencil will do. This is just my favorite. It doesn't smudge or get reflective like graphite can.
Then I use watered down India ink to add tone. It doesn't look like much because at this stage because I'm just adding a middle tone to work up (or scratch away) from. I would use Dr Ph Martin's Watercolor dyes or maybe watered down acrylics at this point if the piece were to be in color. Trying to color in artwork AFTER the lines have been laid down is a pain and doesn't really work so well. This is the kind of cool stuff you learn by hanging out in Skinner's studio.
After scratching away at some background elements, I add line work and dark fills with India ink. I have to be careful about timing when I scratch or add ink so I don't scratch away at the work I want to keep. There isn't as much room for changes and improvising like there would be with standard painting. Check out the tail I had forgotten about and added in at this point, over some scratchiness. Those scratches still show through a bit. Oh well.
I keep scratching to create white line details and I add black line work until it is done to my satisfaction. Notice on his muzzle, you can basically erase if necessary. I decided those marks weren't helping.
Hey! I just saw something I had planned to fix. Oh well, artwork is never finished, just abandoned, right?