Art is essentially a “creation”, but Illinois artist Allan Ace Adams employs deletion to achieve beautiful black-and-white portraits of animals. It is called scratchboard art, and it involves scratching on his unique canvas with an x-acto knife to create these amazing portraits. Other equipment that he uses to scratch his art into being include scalpels, steel wool, sandpaper, wire, twisty ties, nail buffers, even tattoo needles etc.
This scratchboard is a hardwood board that is coated with a layer of porcelain clay and then black ink. Allan then scratches away at this canvas to highlight the underlying white clay and add layer after layer to create this intricate form of art. “I explain to people that I’m scratching in the highlights instead of the ‘darks’ like you would with a graphite drawing,” says Adams. “Shades of gray can be achieved by how much ink is removed or by applying an ink wash. The ink wash can be scratched back though to reveal the white once again.”
Adams started drawing when he was in kindergarten, explored his skill with different media and honed his art. He had to give up airbrushing due to its high cost, and that is when scratchboarding became his preferred medium.
These portraits take hours to complete and Adams has to add and delete multiple layers of each media to achieve the tedious, albeit breathtaking results. He has chosen animal portraits for his love of these creatures, “I have a strong love for animals and hopefully that carries through my works,” he writes on his website. “ I seem to be attracted to the strange or dangerous critters especially. The Great White Shark, Wolves, Tigers, and various others.”
He also creates pet portraits for people. “When I complete a portrait, hand it over to the client, and I see their eyes light up. I see the love they share with their pet shine through, that is the greatest feeling, as an artist, one could experience,” he shares with the world.
Source: Allan Ace Adams Official