I have a couple of three foot by two foot scratchboards hanging around and was thinking of getting started on one. Inspired by Dore, who illustrated Dante and the bible among other things, I was thinking of a rather complicated scene, something dramatic with rocks and trees and people and buildings. Something that maybe tells a story. In such an endeavor drawing is of course important, but it is of no value if the composition and values are not right, and at some level, the values are the composition. So rather than playing with the positioning of trees, rocks, people and buildings, I decided to start by playing with the values.
I did these relatively quickly while watching TV Saturday night. I think one of them, or something quite like one of them, will be my starting point, but I also gained a couple of other ideas from the effort. One, is that this page is interesting by itself and the exercise could make a good scratchboard. The second is that rather than spend a lot of time agonizing over what the scene will be, it might be interesting to just quickly rough in the values on the board and then step back and see what the image suggests to me, and then carve out a more detailed scene from what I see in it.