Enjoy the intricate and delicate work of artist Andrea Schouten, and visit her website for more information.
My work utilizes unconventional tools. Not paints and canvas, but knife blades and Scratchboard. Scratchboard is a rigid white clayboard covered with a thin layer of black India ink.
I use an Xacto knife blade to scratch away the black ink one stroke at a time, revealing the white clayboard underneath. There is something miraculous about bringing to life brightness on a stark black background. I love the intricacies I can achieve with simply a knife blade, and the dramatic mood I can create with simple shades of gray.
Occasionally I will add color to the piece after the black and white etching is complete via watercolors or acrylics. However, I use color sparingly, as I believe each piece should embody scratchboard’s native black and white character.
Color in my pieces range from a pale wash to an opaque layer of paint. Because scratchboard is an unforgiving medium, I carefully plan and illustrate each piece in detail using pencil and paper before the actual Scratchboard piece is begun. The etching process itself often takes several months per piece to complete.
My works draw heavily from ideas of nature, dreamscapes, imaginative realism, ancient architecture, and fantasy art. I use these to portray themes of peace, exploration, mystery, and faith.
I strive to surround the viewer with imaginary places and characters that he wishes he could visit and explore. What would it be like to peer into a landscape that is mystical or awe-inspiring? To step into a grand gothic cathedral, or a forest that glows with something magical, or come across an woodland faerie?
Most of my ideas spring out from my head whilst daydreaming, but I also get inspiration from architecture, fantasy novels and games, other artists, and requests from friends and family.
The intersection of fantasy art and scratchboard is a unique one, and I rarely come across other artists who live in this realm. One of my artistic goals is to spread knowledge of the scratchboard medium. Another is to someday visit some of the amazing ancient architecture and landscapes, mostly in Europe, that serve as inspirations for so many of my pieces.
I owe my artistic nature to my mother, who always encourages me to keep creating, and to my loving husband, Shane, who is so supportive of my love of art.
Andrea invites you to Like her Facebook Page.