Black and White Drawings

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Even with the possibility of color, there are a lot of artists that keep making black and white drawings. Some of these do it by need of the drawing technique they use, and some just because they prefer it.

There’s something about black and white drawings that is still captivating. Some people say that they are more shocking and impressive than their color counterparts. Others think they’re more beautiful. Yet others say it’s their simplicity that makes them attractive.

I’m not an expert in the subject, but I like to think that the reason I like them is similar to the reason I like books over their movie versions.

When I read a book, I can use my imagination to create all the characters and situations. It’s my mind who decides how tall they are, what type of clothes they wear, how many wrinkles their faces have, and how often they smile.

However, when a movie about a book comes out, it sort of forces you a standard image of a character on you. This might be good for the people who design and sell action figures, but for the ones that like to use our imaginations to make the characters come alive in our minds, it’s not that great.

With black and white drawings, something similar happens. Black and white drawings let us add our own details to the image. Hair has the color we want. Clothes have the texture and tone we feel it’s more appropriate. Black and white drawings let us fill in the blanks as we please. Color drawings don’t.

My favorite black and white drawings come from the book “The little Prince“. I like them because they remind me of my own drawing abilities and the things I used to draw when I was a child. In fact, the book starts with the author’s supposed first black and white drawings of boas eating elephants, which he assumed would scare people. It didn’t and made him abandon his drawing career at 6 years old, until he met the little prince years later, when he was an adult.

At the little prince’s request, he tried to draw a sheep for him, one that he could keep on his home. The author drew several sheep, none of which pleased the little prince. Finally, he made a black and white drawing of a box, and told the little prince that the sheep was inside. The little prince was very pleased.

Years after the book first came out, some editions started to print versions that substituted the black and white drawings with color ones. To me, it just isn’t the same book anymore. I guess, like the little price’s hidden sheep, it’s much better when your own imagination gives you the details.

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