Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Black & White vs. Color

I post a lot of work on a site called People can look at my work, rate it, comment on it, or buy it. Most of my work is black and white linework that I scan and digitally color. Sometimes I'll post both the black and white version and the colored version. I always find it interesting how much more popular the colored version is. I always get more views and more comments.

I personally love black and white. When I was little I had a Richie Rich book that was black and white, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it; they were some of my favorite comics. When I was in college, I picked up my first black & white Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comic: Michaelangelo's Chrismas. It was black and white and I couldn't put it down. I immediately started doing everything in black and white and loved it. I started collecting as many back issues as I could. When I got to the colored series, I was very disappointed in the color and felt it detracted. I was glad when they went back to black and white.

But it seems we live in a world where people expect everything to be full color, HD, 5.1 surround sound, on a 72" screen. Is it because all of that adds to the content, or are people just spoiled. If it adds, I'm all for it. But if people are just spoiled, then there is a problem. Sometimes I feel that art is like over seasoned food--there is so much pizzazz that it hides the real beauty or essence. Black & White, I feel, really allows the essence of a work to come out. Also, it's more flexible in reproduction: black and white illustrations work in many more book formats and ebooks, something I'm currently pursuing.

I'm posting two versions of a Christmas card I sent out years ago. When I finished with the black and white linework, I was truly taken back in amazement: it was the greatest thing I had ever created. Then I added color and was again taken aback. Years later I was going thru some old artwork, and I stumbled on the black & white version and was again impressed beyond words. I'm posting them both for you to see and judge for yourself.

Do you like Black & White Art, or does everything have to be in color?

No comments:

Post a Comment