Featured Artist Paul Hopman

Artist Paul Hopman takes the art of scratchboard to new heights, creating meticulously detailed animal portraits, and adding light and shadow to convey depth and luminosity. Visit his website to see more of his work.

 

"Kaya" Scratchboard, 16" x 20" by artist Paul Hopman. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Kaya” Scratchboard, 16″ x 20″

 

The moment my passion for the art of scratchboard started to form was the moment my father asked if I would rather attend a traditional college or art school. Soon after, I enrolled at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois. My time in art school included only twenty days learning scratchboard. The next thirty- nine years followed with a career in the art and printing trades while producing scratchboard art in my free time for friends and family.

 

"Corona" Scratchboard, 18" x 12" by artist Paul Hopman. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Corona” Scratchboard, 18″ x 12″

 

After retiring from the printing business in 2008, I was able to dedicate more time to scratchboard and began attending art shows across the country. Today I attend an average of twenty shows per year, mostly in the southwest.

 

"Cattle Dogs" Scratchboard, 11" x 14" by artist Paul Hopman. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Cattle Dogs” Scratchboard, 11″ x 14″

 

One of the things I love most about scratchboard is its long history and seemingly simple technique.

 

"My Girl" Scratchboard, 11" x 14" by artist Paul Hopman. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“My Girl” Scratchboard, 11″ x 14″

 

Scratchboard started as petroglyphs, in which a hard stone was used to make indentations to a soft stone, which are then backfilled with soil minerals. Although the tools and materials used in scratchboard today have evolved, the premise has not.

 

"Misty" Scratchboard, 9" x 12" by artist Paul Hopman. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Misty” Scratchboard, 9″ x 12″

 

My inspiration comes from witnessing animals in moments in time. The light reflecting in the fixed gaze of a horse, the pose of a lioness as she lays besides her cubs, the heated breath of a bison on a brisk morning. These moments are filled with energy and emotion, making them beautiful and unique.

 

"Lilly" Scratchboard, 14" x 11" by artist Paul Hopman. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Lilly” Scratchboard, 14″ x 11″

 

Once I identify a subject I have the privilege of making it my own. I ask, “What would I change? Would another background better enhance the subject? Have I developed my skills enough to accomplish my vision and do the photograph justice?” And of course, I lean on a support network of coaches.

 

"Curious" Scratchboard, 11" x 14" by artist Paul Hopman. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Curious” Scratchboard, 11″ x 14″

 

In more recent years, I have taken on teaching scratchboard and I am currently focused on delivering instructional videos and other materials to pass on techniques and recommendations to develop one’s own style in scratchboard.

 

"Transformer" Scratchboard, 16" x 20" by artist Paul Hopman. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Transformer” Scratchboard, 16″ x 20″

 

My teaching style allows for versions, not mistakes, and is rooted in self-expression. If you check out my website you can click on Scratch Board University for instructional video content to create your own masterpiece!

 

"Collie" Scratchboard, 11" x 14" by artist Paul Hopman. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Collie” Scratchboard, 11″ x 14″

 

The best compliment I ever received came from a great-grandmother at my first art fair when I was twenty years old. I was showing a representation of a collie I had completed for my father (we watched “Lassie” on Sunday evenings as a family). The woman looked closely at the image for a long time before finally asking, “How long it take you to paste on all of those hairs?” I love that lady!

 

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Comments

  1. Amazing artworks, Paul Hopman! Love your scratchboard!

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