15 June 2000

Color Scratchboards

July was not a particularly strong month for Scratchboards, and by that I don't mean I had few assignments, it is just that I was less than pleased with how a lot of them turned out. The above illustration of Bill and Al doing a 'ring a round the rosie' dance with the FCC was an assignment from an east coast legal newspaper. I continue to struggle with caricatures of the Clinton administration after nearly 8 years in office. The 'tug of war' illustration below was for the same client having something to do with women's rights and the generational gap.

I had a couple large two page spreads for one of my children's magazines, this one on the Revolutionary War, and in addition, a pair of small spots to be sprinkled throughout the rest of the magazine. I liked how the spots came out a bit better than the panorama scenes. I'm still not comfortable at this point with large scratchboard assignments, the medium seems to work much better for smaller pieces.

More likely, the fault lies with my approach. I tend to overwork the larger pieces, and muddy the whole thing up with way too much color, not leaving enough white space to help the scratchboard 'pop'. Later on, I would learn that increasing my line size would help in the larger pieces, and avoiding too much tight line work, which just gets lost on the larger scale.

Another piece that I was less than happy with this month, was the illustration below, which was to depict the two sides of the 'work/stay at home dad' choice. This was for my east coast newspaper client, and I would unwittingly do an almost identical concept for the same magazine a few years later (but in cartoon style). A weak concept the first time, and didn't improve much the second time.

I had a 'second assignment' from a fairly new client this month, a small spot having something to do with a restaurant 'under construction' (if memory serves).

And finally, a piece for my educational publication client this month. This being one of the better color scratchboard illustrations this month. It was something to do with the 'Faust' story, but other than that, I don't quite remember what the magnet had to do with it.

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