Illustration Friday: Routine


My father refers to himself as a “high maintenance husband”, so for this week’s Illustration Friday topic “routine” I showed my mother giving him some routine maintenance. Not, as one of my housemates thought, being tortured.

I haven’t used scratchboard since the last time I used it for Illustration Friday (Worry, in May). It was easier this time (and this is a very small image: 5.5×7.5cm), but there are many things I will do differently next time – especially the shadows and outlines. After using pen and ink so much, scratchboard is an exercise in negative thinking.

Here’s the sketch:

Routine (sketch)

ETA: One of the comments made me realise that there are two possible misinterpetations: the torture; and that my father makes us wait on him hand and foot! He has MS and needs assistance to do a number of things now, including cutting his fingernails. But when he was up and about, he was anything but demanding :)

Comments, critiques and further possible misinterpretations welcome. I can learn!

15 thoughts on “Illustration Friday: Routine

  1. I’m sorry, but I must agree with the housemate – until I read the text below the picture, I immediately thought of bamboo torture. I wonder which shared pop culture we owe that to? An old Get Smart episode comes to mind for me.

  2. I hope a constructive critique is OK. I think the sketch is far superior to the scratchboard. The hands look like they were drawn by a skilled artist on the sketch, and on the scratchboard they look a little flabbier and flatter. I think you mentioned that scratchboard is a new thing for you, so maybe less difficult subjects than hands next time?

  3. I like the scratchboard better than the sketch, and immediately understood the subject, but then, I know your dad. I think your dad’s fingers should be longer in comparison to the hand and there should be more dark scratches in the background. Also, it looks like your dad has only two knuckles. Is the shading on your mother’s hands correct?

  4. Thankyou all.

    Crisitunity and Deb – constructive criticism is very helpful, thankyou!

    Deb, the shading on hands and knuckles is what was there in real life, but it does look very peculiar without any context for the light sources, so that is something I will adapt next time.

    Crisitunity – yes, I am new to it, and I think I like a more flat graphic look to it and I got caught between the two styles here. I will plan it in more detail next time, and perhaps work on a larger scale – the original of this is smaller than the picture on screen.

  5. Coincidentally, Michelle Obama’s convention speech tonight just referred to her own father’s MS. The routine of caring for loved ones young or old can be arduous at times, but honestly, that’s what life’s about. Great take.

  6. Thanks, Curious Art. I haven’t heard Michelle Obama’s speech, but have heard good things about it. I’ll see if its on YouTube.

  7. Reminds me of clipping my toddler’s nails… although he tends to run the other way and it becomes more of a wrestling match!
    I love the scratch board!
    Good job!

    and thanks so much for your kind and thoughtful comments!


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