At just 17, Louis G. Rodriguez has already built quite the artistic portfolio for himself. From painting animals, superheroes or motorcycles to intricate scratchboard art, Rodriguez purses projects that are not only incredibly detailed but also provide the viewer with an innate sense of harmony and happiness, his most important artistic component.
Rodriguez, originally from New York, has been creating art since his formative years, taking after his mother who is also an artist. The path to creating art of his own wasn’t an easy one, however, and it was Rodriguez’s mother who served as his main inspiration in refining his craft. Whenever he felt discouraged about the work that he’d done and was on the brink of giving up, she was always there to pick up the pieces and encourage him to start again.
“I wanted to make drawings to give to other students, but I wasn’t the best at drawing at the time – in fact, most of my art looked like scribbles,” said Rodriguez. “However, my mom was actually good at art, so I would ask her to make a drawing for me. After that, I would present it as my own. My mom was my main motivator – she always encouraged me to draw even after I ripped paper in half. I wouldn’t be what I am today without her.”
Rodriguez specializes in creating intricate and incredibly detailed artwork on scratchboards, a technique that requires the artist to start with a black surface that, when scratched, creates a white line. Your only tool throughout this process is a small knife that is used to carve the drawings into the black surface. This makes for an incredibly tedious and unique process.
“Normally with a pencil, you draw whatever it is you will draw and create shadows to make it pop more or give it form and shape,” said Rodriguez. “However, scratch art primarily focuses on creating only the highlights of a subject. No outlines, no shades.”
Through the scratchboard medium, Rodriguez has already created a lion, an owl and a motorcycle with this technique. This, along with improving his portrait skills (specifically, one day being able to draw a portrait of his family and especially his mother) as well as the re-creation of an old scene with a style similar to Rococo or Renaissance, are all projects he looks forward to pursuing in the near future.
When asked about his artistic process, Rodriguez credits the power of having inspiration strike at the right time and remembering to work on projects that, first and foremost, make him happy.
“Once inspired, I almost immediately begin the project and do as much work as I can before I become tired. From there, I work on the piece every now and then, adding details from my mind that serve as inspiration,” said Rodriguez. “Harmony is an important component in art because it helps bring all the factors of a piece together. This makes one subconsciously attracted to a piece because we are all drawn to something we feel like we could break apart into small parts.”
In the future, Rodriguez hopes to continue his artistic endeavors. He’s currently leaning toward the graphic design field, but no matter what, he knows that art is going to be a huge factor in his future.
You can see more of Rodriguez’s art on his Instagram account @lgrodart.
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