Kent Barton – Indiana Jones

Kent Barton’s scratchboard illustration work is some of the best around. This piece isn’t new, but it sure is beautiful. My wife said, “The longer you look it, the cooler it gets”. I completely agree. The heavy lines create the mid-tone that ties everything together, while the overlayed ink hatching creates the darker shadows. I like how short scratches give character to the highlights, and the detail is completely blown out in the lit side of the face. The stippling on the hat is a nice contrast to the surrounding linear strokes. It really is a masterpiece. Even the abstract background has its own visual journey to enjoy.

Bob Boze Bell – Rattlesnake Kate

I’ve come across True West Magazine a number of times, admiring the sketches and quick paintings. Bob Boze Bell is the one running the show, and on 11/11/11 he wrote:

“In honor of this uno-alignment I switched gears on my “Not So Gentle Tamer” concept and did a black and white (actually scratchboard) of an Arizona Pioneer Woman dispatching a Mohave Ring-tailed Rattlesnake with a shovel.”

The finish on this is very rough, but I think it’s a gem.

Ricardo Martinez – killer drawing and masterful texture

Gifted beyond belief, Ricardo Martinez does the kind of work that makes me feel like a total art weakling. His ideas are great. His designs are great. He captures light and shadow with variety of crosshatching patterns, which give his work rich texture and style. If a gallery had all of his work hanging, I think I would take a very good look at each piece…multiple times. All at the same time it inspires and depresses me.

The gorilla is awesome, but the scratches that make up the leafy background are even more amazing – my favorite part of the image.

The skin of the whale blows me away. It has texture and yet looks smooth. The light and shadow really make this piece work.

Wow.

King Kong by kuruvata

This was posted on Flickr by kuruvata. I’m not sure what the artist’s real name is. I found it in with a nice collection of other scratchboard work on this page. I’m always amazed how people come up with different ways to express themselves using the same medium. A lot of artists today are pushing the envelope of realism, and I find myself doing the same. But, I still have a great appreciation for pieces with rougher strokes and compelling design.