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Art Artists' Books

Light Revealed

Scratchboard Engravings by Scott McKowen

illustrated by Scott McKowen

introduction by Peter Hinton

Firefly Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2022
Artists' Books, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price

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285 glorious illustrations celebrate the scratchboard art of Scott McKowen.

"McKowen is a scratchboard master, creating theater posters and book covers of fantastic clarity, shrewd wit and subtle mystery. McKowen's mastery of line and texture, gift for arresting juxtapositions and perspectives, and fluency in drawing the human figure make for complex and breathtaking images that are at once old-fashioned and cutting edge."
--Booklist on McKowen's 2009 retrospective, A Fine Line

"It's hard to decide what's cooler about Scott McKowen's poster art: the astonishing, elegant design and linework, or the way he tips your preconceptions on their head and does something unexpected with every assignment. Luckily, we do not have to make a choice. It's all here."
--Neil Gaiman

Scratchboard artists use sharp instruments to etch lines into a board support layered with white chalk, silver foil and black ink to expose the white and grey surfaces underneath. Color, if used, is then added to make a spectacular work reminiscent of traditional woodcutting but as rich and dynamic as any full color painting. Because it is a reductive process -- you cannot fix mistakes -- it is considered one of the most difficult artistic techniques.

In Light Revealed, scratchboard master artist Scott McKowen builds on his 2009 retrospective, A Fine Line, with a personal selection of more than 150 new works. He gives a detailed analysis of each piece and describes what influenced his design. He includes images of the reference works he consulted during the conceptual process and talks about the struggles he had arriving at a design solution. He also discusses the influence and advantages of technological developments, such as Photoshop, which have carried the medium into the 21st century.

About the authors

Scott McKowen is an award-winning illustrator and graphic designer. He works in scratchboard, an engraving medium in which white lines are carved into a black surface with a sharp blade. McKowen has illustrated a number of titles for a wide range of publishers. Based in Stratford, Ontario, he operates the design studio Punch & Judy Inc., which creates theatre posters and graphics for leading performance art companies across North America.

Scott McKowen's profile page

Peter Hinton's profile page

Other titles by Scott McKowen