Hello, I'm Steve Ridgway. I'm based just outside Stockport, northern England. I've lived in the north west all my life and for as far back as I can recall I've enjoyed drawing. Can't remember life without it!
I've been working in Scraperboard, or Scratchboard, if you like, for over 30 years. What started as a curious, but very keen, interest in the work of Cheshire artist Bill Geldart led me to have a go myself, and the results of that are what you see here. Working in black and white is so refreshing - if a picture is striking enough to grab your attention and make you concentrate, then your mind will put the colours in for you. And your imagination will always be right!
I prefer to specialise in this medium almost exclusively, although over the years I've had fun experimenting with several variations and combinations, such as acrylics, wash drawings, and certainly airbrushing. The possibilities are endless - just have a go and see what happens.
Given the length of time it can take to turn out a particular image, it can be a bit daunting to make that first line on the board. Once that's over, though, it can be exciting to watch it slowly develop so that it matches the image you've got in your head. And there's real satisfaction in seeing that finished picture all framed up. At that point you can start to wonder how many hours you've spent on it since you gave up counting… Obviously, my pictures are worked from photographs. The dog and cat portraits here each took around six or seven hours, and even the most patient dog won't sit still for that long.