Through the course of my life, two things have been constant besides family: drawing and animals. As far back as I can remember, I was always drawing animals. I was never interested in drawing houses, or flowers, or people.
I moved to New Mexico with my husband, and worked at the National Lab for a couple years. I quit my job and stayed at home with our two children. What better opportunity to start drawing again? I like the simple pencil, because it is familiar and not messy. With small children, I didn't want to be dealing with paints. Graphite led into charcoal, which I used for several years. I loved the darkness and softness of charcoal.
Then I started seeing scratchboard on several of the art websites I joined. I liked the striking contrast of it, but it looked intimidating. I had done the black-paint-on-crayon-on-paper craft at school, and saw no way around making mistakes, except not to make them in the first place. For Christmas, 2012, I bit the bullet and asked for a starter set. To this day, I have not put it down.
The high-contrast nature of scratchboard seems to bring drawings to life, and animals in particular are well-suited to scratchboard because of the techniques used to remove the black ink from the white clay-coated board. It is no wonder, then, that I love this medium.
All my artwork is copyright protected and may not be reproduced without my written permission.
Heather Ward joined Fine Art America on February 16th, 2007.