Fairytale details

Recently, I was commissioned to do 3 fairytale illustrations – for gifts, rather than publication. I won’t put more detail up for now, as I don’t know the ultimate recipients.

Details of project

The first and last are pen and ink (dip pen). The middle is scratchboard. All three are coloured with watercolour (specifically, watercolour pencils). The first is the reason for the recent sleepy princess, and the second is related to my experiments in scratchboard fur textures.

I found this project alarming, because I am used to working in a combination of physical and digital media. Having a single finished piece of art appeals to me, but the process is daunting. There is no undo button with pen and ink (although to a limited extent scratchboard can be ‘reset’). But the pictures are finished and matt boards cut and I posted the originals today!

6 thoughts on “Fairytale details

  1. I like these ‘story wise’ ie their content and I love the little animal.

    Technique-wise I can appreciate dip pen and ink (I’m old enough to have started to learn to write with a dip pen)but must confess I have no idea how scratchboard works.

    • Thanks, Rita!

      Scratchboard is cardboard with a layer of white chalk or clay, then a layer of black ink. You draw in it by scratching away the areas that are to be white.

      It was popular for mid-century advertising illustrations because it reproduces well.

  2. Well, over the years I have read this blog, I have learned a little about scratchboard from Kathleen’s posts…but I was curious myself about “reset” for scratchboard. Might I hazard a guess that would simply be scratching over already-etched lines? Or is there something else involved?

    And Kathleen, thanks for such a wonderful blog. I learn so much from reading, both about art, and well, grace.

    • Thank you, Will.

      Because scratchboard is ink over clay, you can (up to a point) fix mistakes by painting back over them with pigment-based ink (not dye – that will soak in). You can see it on the original, but it won’t show up in reproduction.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s