I’ve mentioned before my fascination with scratchboard, that magical inverse of pen and ink, in which light areas are scratched out of a coating of ink on a clay-covered board (and sometimes a white surface is scratched away from a black-coated board), producing a line drawing with some of the characteristics of pen and ink and some of the feeling of woodcuts (see some of my posts involving scratchboard).
Tm Foley is a Michigan based illustrator who worked for a long time in variations of traditional scratchboard technique, and moved over to digital illustration in the late 90’s.
Foley has found great freedom in the combination of his scratchboard style and computer color, a flexible alternative to the traditional methods of applying color to scratchboard drawings, which is usually a difficult, messy and often frustrating process because of the surface dust created by the scratchboard technique.
Foley’s color scratchboard illustrations have the visual charm of scratchboard lines with the added punch of well applied color. The other ingredients in his visual mix, a fertile imagination and strong drawing skills, have combined to garner him a roster of clients that include The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Barrons, Highlights for Children and others.
Foley also maintains a blog, Illustratorium, where you you can find an archive of his illustrations, arranged by dated posts, or by subject categories. You can also find a few of his illustrations in other media both here and in his iSpot portfolio, as well as some of his scratchboard style work in black and white.