Ink and Scratchboard Illustrations by Nicolas Delort

Paris based freelance illustrator Nicolas Delort creates these amazingly detailed drawings using ink on scratch boards.

"I work on non-inked scratch board. I use three tools: a 0.05 pigment marker, a sable brush and a scratch board nib. I’ll hatch/crosshatch the lighter areas with the marker and I’ll fill in with Indian ink the darker areas and scratch away. I don’t really plan the whole process though, I make it up as I go."

"I start by asking myself “What story do I want to tell?” From there I picture the scene in motion in my head as if I were a, uh, floating eye, for lack of a better simile. I turn around the scene, up and down, let the scene unfold, and when I find an interesting angle, I “pause” the action and write down a short description of the scene. Then the rest is a pretty run-of-the-mill type process."

"I make thumbnail-sized abstract compositions that don’t look like anything to anyone but me. Once I have one that I like, I’ll open Photoshop, blow it up, move stuff around and think with it until I’m happy with the composition. That’s when I start working on a tight line-art. I then do a quick grayscale mock-up so I know where I’m headed when I start inking. I print out the line-art, transfer it onto the scratch board and then the fun part starts."

"Once in a while, I’ll make a full color illustration, but it’s really not what I like best. I could never find my “voice” with color and even less-so with digital and felt like it just came off as stiff and bland. There are so many people doing amazing and diverse things with digital now, I feel like I don’t have anything special to add when it comes to color."

"Generally, I’m very inspired by my surrounding environment. I’m always on the lookout for peculiar light, interesting compositions and whatnot. I live in Paris and even though I don’t like drawing cityscapes, there’s always something about how the light flows between the buildings and the stark shapes modern infrastructures create. I force myself to look for inspiration in things I would never think of drawing."

"I did this illustration for a tsunami fundraiser in march last year. It was sold at an auction at Arludik gallery in Paris and it’s just been selected in the unpublished category for the 3x3 2012 annual."

All images are © Copyright of Nicolas Delort

Check his website:

Source: youthedesigner, openlabartists


Anonymous said...

I love the quote on your header.

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