New Artwork: A Lost Night

For some time, I’ve been wanting to create another “loose” piece, using scratchboard, ink, acrylic, and seemingly everything else I can find in my office. Quite a few people like the previous piece like this, last year’s The Lost Nightmare, and I thought today would be a good time to try another.

I had picked up some new scratchboard stock, so I went to work. I had an idea of where I was going, towards a “zombie” style creature, but I just wanted to keep that as a general framework. What had worked so well with the other piece was just letting go, just doing art to do art, and I hoped to recapture that some.

I sat down and scratched in a pretty decent zombie profile. Which, of course, I didn’t think to take a picture of until it was too late. So we’ll just say I did.

[imagine a great photo of just the scratched version here]

Once that was done, I did the rudest thing I could think of (for a family show, anyway). I took sandpaper, and scratched all over the entire surface of the scratchboard. Not enough to obliterate the creature I had scratched in, but more as an overriding texture. Click on the image (and all of the following ones) for a larger version.

He came out a bit more feral than expected, once the sandpaper was done with him. I considered changing course and making him a different sort of monster, but I just let it all go and did art.

After I was fine with the sandpaper work, I started painting in watered down (mostly) ink colors, then watered down acrylic colors. Being watered down, they just hit certain spots and combined in others, creating unique patterns.

I also added some black ink wash as well, though a bit darker than the other colors had been. The left edge had seemed a bit light, and the overall piece a bit too midtoned, so I added the black in to compensate for it.

 I noticed at this point that the creature had returned back to being more zombie-like than anything, so I went with it. I touched up a few more colors here, and added some light and dark accents as needed. Then I started in with the ink pen.

The ink pens (Micron pens 02 and 05) really started popping the creature out of his background, and that’s when I really started thinking this was an actual piece of art.

I followed the patterns that the acrylics, inks, and scratchboard had already created, rather than creating new lines with the ink pen. This gave the piece a very interesting look, somewhat a cross between order and chaos. In certain areas, around the eye for example, the lines merely expanded on the idea that was already there. But in adding ink lines in the texture areas, a random, stronger texture appeared, and made the whole thing more unique.

Here’s the final product, and again click on it for a larger version. It’s 10″ x 13″, all sorts of stuff on scratchboard. I call it, A Lost Night:

I took a few closeup shots of the piece too, in case you are looking for more detail:

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Russell Dickerson has been a lot of things over many years. Author, artist, designer, winner of awards and recognition, pursuer of the truth, leader of the earth after armageddon.