Meet the Artist:
We were looking forward to speaking to Brian Gallagher, Scraperboard artist to find out how he started his journey in this medium, how he works and what inspires him.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Brian Gallagher, professional Artist and Illustrator. I have worked within this industry full time since graduating from art college at Bristol Polytechnic in 1989.
Describe your style of scraperboard artistry?
How and when did you get started using scraperboard and why did you choose to work with scraperboard?
Initially I was drawn to Linocut and wood engraving, eventually moving to the medium scraperboard, to create freelance illustrations. I produce commissioned illustrations but also sell my own work in galleries.
Where do you work?
I have always worked from home, in my own studio space.
Tell us about your typical day
I typically focus on working from 9am to 5pm most days. This could be drawing, painting and creating or admin and self promotion via social media.
What inspires your work?
My inspiration comes from all around, from visits to galleries and just observing generally day to day life. I attend life drawing classes once a week which I really enjoy and it helps to develop and perfect my drawing skills. I like to look at examples of Wood Engravers, Printmakers and Scraperboard artists work, in books and online. Two books that I would recommend are “Scraperboard Drawing” by Merrit Dana Cutler and “The Art of scratchboard” by Cecile Curtis.
Do you have a favourite scraperboard piece that you have made?
Not really, I tend to be constantly moving forward on to the next piece.
What is your greatest achievement?
Three sets of work that I am particularly proud of are –
- World Illustration Awards Winner 2016
- Worked on a set of seven, over life sized scraperboard Illustrations of Blasket islanders/writers for the Blasket Island Centre, Co Kerry. These were blown up and are back lit in the museum. They are on permanent display – https://www.blasket.ie/
- Winning a national competition to design the postage stamp to mark the centenary of the founding of the Irish Free State, An Post put the stamp in to production in 2022.
What have you worked on lately?
A solo exhibition at the United Arts Club in Dublin. This features my scraperboard and my watercolour work.
Do you have a favourite Essdee product?
Do you have any top tips or advice for other scraperboard artists?
Plan your artwork ahead of time so you know the large areas of light and dark and ensure you always have a sharp tool.
Here is a short film of me working – https://youtu.be/5D-DLzd2S1U
Where can we see more of your work?
You can see a lot of my work online and on social media.
Where can we buy your work?
My work can be purchased and commissioned direct from the artist.
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