Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Black And White And Red All Over

August 17, 2011

For the past couple decades I have wrestled with the usage of black in my artwork. Most of my fine art friends do not use any black in their oil paintings. I believe Ed Mell mixes Thalo Green with Ultramarine Blue to approximate black in his work. The idea is that you can mix your palette so that color is king and that color creates any effect that life can offer. And the knock against straight black out of the tube is that it kills vibrancy in a painting. So, I have tried hard to avoid using black right out of the tube in my gouache paintings. In my graphic novel work, this has led me to experiment with sepia and dark brown:

And sepia and red:

Then, over the weekend I read a quote by James McNeill Whistler that "line matters more than color" and that "black is the universal harmonizer." And come to think of it, Whistler's art is quite heavy with black and it looks great!

So, this brought me back to my black and white work, where I did straight up black ink work:

Dang. Quite strong. So my task today is how do I fuse the two together? It's tough learning this stuff and I don't have the best teacher, either. Gee, I wonder what ol' Henny has to say about this?

"A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher, and a worse student."

—Henny Youngman

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