Painting in Black and White: A Bold Art Palette

by Catherine Jeltes in Inside My Artwork


The month of Halloween.  The season of scary.  A time when fall fashion is in full swing.  The one color that fits all those things?



Black is a classic color for a reason.  Black is BOLD.  Black is striking.  It compliments both decor and wardrobe.  Black is modern and elegant.  Black, my friends, is timeless.
As an artist, black is one of the simplest palettes to work with yet creates amazingly complex results.  With regards to efficiency?  The majority of grounds–canvas & paper–are white.  Add black paint and voila:  a two color palette for the price of one (and depending on how much you dilute the paint with water, varying shades of gray up the ante.)
It is important to note that not all black paint is the same.  Golden acrylics alone has bone black, mars black, and carbon black.  Some have cooler undertones; some have warmer undertones.  My personal preference is carbon black.  The undertones tend to be warmer and when used in a thicker, heavier application the black is deep and rich, resulting in a wonderfully high contrast.
Abstract Flower Black 1                                            Abstract Flower Black 2
Notice how diluting the paint more in the first flower image results in more shades of gray, causing the black to blur and bleed a bit more into the surface of the paper?
I challenge you to simplify.  Take some basic black and experiment.  Reducing your palette is a great way to hone technique–be it strengthening composition or expanding on a particular painting style.  Have fun!
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All artwork © 2015 Catherine Jeltes, Gallery Zoo Art. All rights are reserved by the artist and may not be copied or reproduced in any way except by the express permission of the artist.