For this project, I did several scratchboard illustrations for beer labels. The client was Steamworks Pub & Brewery in Vancouver, Canada, and the design and marketing was handled by Brandever Strategy Inc., also located in Vancouver. It was Brandever's idea to use the steampunk art style as a play on the Steamworks name. Brandever states on their web site that, "Our design series feature whimsical steampunk interpretations of Vancouver's treasured buildings and icons."
Another artist was key to the success of this project. His name is James NG, and he lives and works in Hong Kong. James specializes in the steampunk style, and his work is highly regarded. However, James uses a digital painting method for his finished art, and the finished art for these labels needed to be done by pen and ink with a woodcut or engraved look. That's where I came in. I don't normally do the steampunk style, so James did the concept sketches, and I did the finished scratchboard illustrations based on his concepts.
The reason the finished illustrations needed to be done with pen and ink is that the labels were to be screen printed. The labels have three or four colors that print solid--no halftones or 4-color process. With my scratchboard style, I am able to make realistic images that have considerable detail and require only one color to print. In this case, though, my drawings didn't even need the one color. Instead of printing the lines of my drawings in a color, they were left clear, which allowed the color of the dark bottle to work as the color of the drawing.
The following videos and images show how many of the labels were done. You can see more of my work at www.inkart.com.