Illustrating Birds Using the Scribble Method
First Scribble Attempt
Rock 'n' Robin
I discovered the Scribble Method when learning Adobe Illustrator and looking through some of the effects one could apply to backgrounds and type. I wondered if Illustrating Birds Using the Scribble Method could be applied to hands on illustration and how that might look. I really like the way the effect works in Illustrator and was sure that it would work just as well using frisket paper.
This leads me to the supplies you will need;
• Roll of Frisket paper or large sheets.
• Exacto knife and blades, #11's work best for me
• Ball point pens of every color, I have yet to find a yellow ball point pen.
• Illustration board (cold press)
• Assortment of dry pastels
• Spray can of workable fixative, matt or gloss depending on your preference
• Roll of toilet paper or Q-tips
Illustrating Birds Using the Scribble Method is now something I can do on or off the computer and these are the steps I use while doing hands on illustrations.
1. The first step is to choose a bird and then draw or trace the bird onto your illustration board.
2. The second step is to cover your board in with a sheet of frisket paper, making sure to burnish it down smoothly.
3. Using your xacto knife trace around the outline of the bird applying enough pressure to cut the frisket paper but not leave a cut line in the illustration board. Remove the frisket paper covering the interior of the bird.
4. Now the fun part, using the lightest colors first begin scribbling. I prefer to go in one direction for all colors until I have created a good base color. Then I add detail at a slightly different angle to create contrast using a darker colored ball point pen. The frisket paper allows you to scribble outside the outline without coloring the background and leaves a sharp edge.
5. When you have finished the bird and whatever it is standing on, simple remove the frisket paper (slowly) as it is not suppose to tear the illustration board but still can if you are not careful. Spray a light coat of workable fixative on the ball point pen area and let it thoroughly dry.
6. Put down another sheet of frisket paper and repeat the burnishing and cutting process. Remove the frisket from the background area and make sure the covering frisket is burnished smoothly. You are now free to do whatever you wish with the background, I prefer pastels as they are quick and easy to use.
7. I prefer using the Exacto knife to scrape a fine dust of pastel onto my background and then using toilet paper or a Q-tip to smear and smudge the color in an abstract way. I generally use this method to create the impression of the background being out of focus. Look at photos, where the background is out of focus and the subject is in clear focus to get a better idea of how to create this effect.
Included are birds I have done for friends and family and all of these bird illustrations took less than eight hours total to do, some half that time.
Do I make a living at selling these illustrations? No, but I haven't given up on that dream yet either. I do art because I enjoy it and would rather have my art hanging on some ones wall than waiting to be sold. Birds are fun to illustrate for me because they are so colorful and because we see them everyday but don't pay much attention to them.
Illustrating Birds Using the Scribble Method is now a tried and true part of my illustration techniques, hopefully it will inspire other artists as well.
Half Way There and Done
- The Guild handbook of scientific ... - Elaine R. S. Hodges, Guild of Natural Science Illustrators (U
The Guild Handbook of Scientific Illustration, Second Edition Sponsored by the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and written by top illustrators, scientists, and industry experts, The Guild Handbook of Scientific Illustration, Second Edition is a
Great Site for Those of Us with a passion for Birds
- Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, We use science to understand the world, to find new ways to make conservation work, and to involve people who share our passion. We offer help for birders through All About Birds website on all bird info, questions, etc.