17 September 2013

Black backgrounds and black objects

I often see artists try to incorporate the use of black in their work, in way that just hurts my eyes. Now I hate to do this kind of art critique, as I feel people can draw how they want. But this particular situation irks me as I can see what they are trying to do and how they have failed at it. I am not saying I am perfect, I have probably made this mistake myself numerous times, especially when doing printing making with lino, it can be especially easy to do. 

Fellow comic artist David Blumenstein wrote about ‘beggars hand’ a few years back and as much as it pained me to read, ie, Knowing that I was guilty of this indulgence, but it made me think twice before drawing it. I am hoping the post can help out in a similar way.

I have drawn a simple and crappy comic frame to try and demonstrate what I mean.


1-This is the original drawing, a bit plain and I want to add some black to make it pop

First the wrong way to do it...
2- Now let's add some black here...but wait, I've got a little too precious about my own line work so I haven't taken the black all the way to the line (See ill.

Second wrong way to do it...
3- Now let's colour in his jacket black. Again I have not taken it to the edge of the line, what am I doing, this isn't working...

Better way to do it...
4- Here is a better way to do it if the back ground and top are both black. I only need that one white line

Another better way...
5- Here you can see I have taken the black all the way to the line, I think this works much better

Even another way...
6- I have quickly done an inverse in photoshop, it is a bit of a rush job, but it demonstrates the effect 


Now there are many ways to get contrast when spotting blacks like this, these are only a few examples. Feel free to disagree in the comments or add your thoughts.

I particularly enjoy looking at illustrations like these,
Which make an interesting use of a simple select and inverse option in Photoshop to great effect.

If I come across any more good (and maybe bad) examples I will post them here in a subsequent edit.

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