The Sailing Trip

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About this artwork


Scratchboard art / illustration 8.5″ x 11″


A peaceful day sailing as a star emerges from behind the planet the vessel is approaching. The solar sails of the ship stretch to either side and light reflects of the surface. This piece is about exploration, and the forward momentum science brings to humanity. The more we understand and learn the better off we are.

This is an optimistic image of humanity striving to better itself. When making this work of art I was listening to “Star Talk” a podcast I enjoy. The host Neil DeGrasse Tyson was talking with Bill Nye about the solar sail project that Bill was working on. It made me start thinking about the future, the possible technologies we might use to eventually explore the solar system and beyond. All the things that would go into that. The fact that if we left the solar system we would need to grow our own food, keep our air clean, recycle our water, create all our power needs. People would be born live and die on a ship headed to another solar system. How many generations could we sustain in a self contained spacecraft heading out into the stars.

The Process

Each scratchboard starts off completely black and an exacto blade is used to make small scratches in the surface revealing the white clay layer. Colored inks are then used to add color to the white clay surface. Once the color is added an additional layer of scratching creates highlights in the colored drawing. Once complete the scratchboards are sealed to protect them from UV light and make them more resistant to damage.

About the Artist

Robert Vander Voord has been working with scratchboard for over 10 years. He started as an artist focusing more on painting but fell in love with scratchboard as a medium. He often focuses on science and science-fiction themes in his work.