Commitment: Bill Russell accepts custom commissions to create beautiful and effective scratchboard illustrations on time and on budget.

Medium: Bill works in the medium of scratchboard which provides a bold, nostalgic and graphic solution to your need and it’s print application. Scratchboard is a white, clay-coated board on which black ink is applied then scraped away using a variety of sharp tools producing an engraved, woodcut-looking image. More information at Wikipedia.

Process: A typical job begins with an initial consultation, via email or phone where the client’s image needs, budget and deadline are confirmed. Thumbnails and tight sketches are provided for approval. The scratchboard illustration is created and converted to digital. Color is applied and any adjustments are made in PhotoShop™.  Final art is emailed as a digital file.

Stock Art: If time and budget is tight, Bill has a large archive of existing illustrations that can be purchased for reuse and provided fast. Email Bill your image need.


bill114cBorn in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, Bill Russell earned his degree from Parsons School of Design in New York. He has been a freelance  illustrator for 30+ years. For seven years, he taught illustration at the California of the Arts in San Francisco and concurrently worked as a staff artist at the San Francisco Chronicle. Bill stays creative working in a variety of media and skill sets, including web site designer, painter and visual journalist. He lives with his wife Christine and dog Bindy in a restored Eichler house in Marin County, California.

Partial List of Clients: Chronicle Books, Travel and Leisure Golf, Audubon, Golden Gate University,  New Republic, Nerve, Seattle Weekly, Franciscan Wines,  TODO, Republic of Tea, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, Sierra Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Readers Digest, San Francisco Business Times, Yiddish Book Center, VIA Magazine, Apple, Nick’s Cove Restaurant, Diagio, Travel Channel, Chow, Pace Communications, Connecticut Magazine, Air Canada, Preservation Magazine, Time for Kids, Credo, Viking Penguin, Toronto Life, Progressive Magazine, National Lampoon, Fortune, Stereo Review, Archeology, Franklin Library, Self, New York Magazine, Outside, Newsweek, New England Monthly, Gourmet, New York Life, Washington Post, California Lawyer, Clarkson Potter, New Woman, Wig Wag, Labatt’s, New York University, Roots, Esquire, Penguin Books, Brown University, Columbia Sportswear, Men’s Journal, Marie Claire, Field and Stream, San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, PC World, Sports Illustrated for Kids, San Francisco Magazine, Levi Strauss and Company, California Magazine, Spy, Forbes, ComputerWorld, Info World, Harcourt Brace, Cost Plus, Much Music, Parenting, harpers, Book of the Month Club, Saveur, Oxford American, Charles Schwab, Stewart, Tabori and Chang, Money, MetroWerks, McGraw-Hill, Simon & Schuster, Garden Design, Saturday Night, etc.