I’ve always liked scratchboard, but it’s not a forgiving medium. Once a line is etched, there’s no way to get rid of it. So I didn’t do a lot of scratchboard works – I didn’t want to sink hours into something and then wind up ruining it with one bad decision. While pencil was a little more undoable, the situation was more or less the same: at some stage during a drawing, I’d get to a point where I had to decide between a few different possibilities, and hope the final decision turned out okay. I could experiment a little using photocopies, but if I did something really good on a photocopied version, I’d then have to recreate it on the actual drawing because the photocopied part looked, well, photocopied. Consequently, I did most of my planning and experimenting before I did a drawing. Experimenting mid-drawing was too much of a risky process.
That all changed when my office got a Wacom Cintiq 21UX tablet a few years ago. After a lot of experimenting, I was able to create on the tablet the same effects that I’d thought were only possible with real-world pen and ink, and I could create as many copies of a drawing as I needed. If something didn’t work out, I’d just delete the copy and go back to the previous version. If it did, I’d take it from there.
I’m not sure what this is – planet, cell, maybe both. But it’s the first scratchboard drawing I’ve done where I didn’t spend the whole time worrying about making a mistake.