First, an update with Android Me. I’m still in the midst of what I hope to be the final significant edit. Movement on that has been on hold for a few weeks as my brain was needing a break. Since I’d also been champing at the bit to do some scratchboarding, I decided to have a sort of busman’s holiday and broke out my scratch tools.

WIP01 320The attached image is my scratch WIP titled Ristra Roja. It’s on 5 x 7 inch (127 x 178 mm) Ampersand Scratchbord. For those who don’t know, a ristra is tied bundle of any of several foods meant to be dried. In this case, I chose a  tight shot of a very familiar sight across my home state, a ristra of New Mexico red chile.

I’m doing something that’s very familiar to other scratchboard artists but something I haven’t done outside of experiments: actually using a brush to apply Ampersand Scratchbord inks (basically acrylic inks). I’ve tended to use E’tac acrylics applied with an airbrush, my painting tool of choice. It’s an interesting change. When the winter cold or summer heat get too much for me to use my airbrush, I’ll be more comfortable getting to work in my climate-controlled office and choosing to use another coloring method.

The WIP is going through its second stage of major scratch, which you can seen on most of the right half. The first was sort of an “under-scratch” with foundation colors. This one is for contouring and the application of colors (hopefully) close to final vibrancy. The range of colors is limited to the red palette, from deep maroons up to bright red/orange.

I’ve been videoing the entire process, so it’ll likely get posted after some extensive editing for time and adding narration. Since it’s a bit of a learning experience for me with brushing on the color, it’ll hardly be a master class on how to apply color to a scratchboard. Like I said, I much prefer the subtle control I get with an airbrush.

So, once the artwork is done, which shouldn’t be too much longer, I’ll be back at the keyboard finishing up the novel edit and shipping it out to the final round of readers. Then, assuming I didn’t really mess things up somewhere, it’ll be on to prepping for publication. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: The officially titled, final artwork can be seen at: Ristra Roja Up Close