Medium- Pen & Ink & (Rotring tech pens); Knives on White Scraperboard/Scratchboard Size-A4 Strewth, here's one that's going to make no sense whatsoever in the thumbnail! Sometimes I get a tad obsessive.... Oh, righto, THIS IS BEST VIEWED LARGE !! This was the 40th cover I drew for "The Captain's Log", the newsletter of Austrek: The Star Trek Fan Club, the Australian fan club which is the second oldest continuously operating Trek club in the world. It was for Issue #234, February, 1997. Trekkers will know that this is a drawing of a Borg Cube, which is to say, a starship belonging to a race of cyborgs who fang around the Galaxy 'assimilating' sentient species and their technologies into their gestalt minded 'Collective". The Borg were introduced in the Next Generation series and have proved a popular menace in subsequent Star Trek series and movies. Their powerful, self-repairing starships are fairly ungainly looking beasties, with lots of impractically exposed but artistically challenging surface detail. The picture took about thirty hours to draw and was executed on my then favourite medium, scraper or scratchboard. For the uninitiated, this was a 19th century development where cardboard, or any reasonably solid surface really, is covered in a thin layer of white clay. You can draw on it and paint ink washes over it, When the ink has dried you can use tools to scratch lines in it, allowing the wite of the clay to show through. I like to use long handled, thin bladed craft knives. You may have used a similar process in school where you colour paper with crayons then paint over it and scratch back to reveal the colours. By the way, the clay coating clogs up the tech pen nibs more than drawing on a normal surface does. When I look at this picture a decade later I smile at how easy it would be to do a similar picture now using Photoshop or some other illustrating package. Even back then I was using CorelDraw to draw fairly intricately detailed spacecraft but y'know, it's not the same as all that scraping away with knives.... Er. That's probably a Klingon thing. ;) Because the Borg like to nick other folks' technology I incorporated into the design the following other items: Doctor Who's sonic screwdriver, a Cyberman's head, a Dalek, A TARDIS and its control console. Also the Death Star, a TIE Fighter, a 2001: A Space Odyssey spacepod, an Invaders UFO, the Jupiter 2 from Lost In Space and the good ship Swinetrek from the Muppets Pigs In Space. Artistically, I was also doing a lot of what I called Technoceltic artwork at the time back then. I really love the intricate Celtic knotwork patterns that found their way into illuminated manuscripts, more often than not, in finely illustrated Medieval religious texts. Now, as much as I enjoy a good fantasy yarn, I've not a religious bone in my body and much prefer the real miracles produced by Science and Technology. So I thought I'd adapt the interwoven style of Celtic borderwork to a more mechanised subject. So, that said, this picture is sort of a hi-tech 'carpet page', a denser version of some of the smaller technoceltic designs I've done. When I scanned the artwork it came out greyer than it was originally. I decided that I rather liked it that way....
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