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    « Watercolors + Salt | Main | Kick-Start Your Art Journal (7) »

    Color Series: Inspired by B&W

    "Art -and life- is about improvisation, discovery and awe.
    It is about leaning over the edge and staring deep into the abyss.
    It's about staring into our own inadequacies and,
    just as we think we might come up short,
    finding the answer that we need was there all the time.
    As we create we not only reveal Reality, we reveal ourselves."
    ~ Todd Henry

    Above, two works from the talented polish artist behind druga szesnascie, creator of art journal pages in black and white and neutral colors. Her enchanting pages are strikingly beautiful in their simplicity. It's all about slight variation in blacks, grays, whites, images, shapes, words. Color is unnecessary. {Shared with permission from the artist.}

    What would you discover if you reached for just black and white for your next page?

    I looked through my art and found lots of vivid and not much black or white. While that's my thing, I believe the newness and novelty of using various blacks and whites would spark my imagination.

    Ideas & inspiration to spark your creativity:

    • Figure out what black and white mean to you. On the flight back from Germany this summer, I brainstormed words & thoughts I associate with black on this mind map a 5x8" watercolor moleskine. Phrases include "velvet, licorice, piano keys, permanent."

    • Digital camera in hand, photograph interesting blacks and whites as you find them. You can tag your photos in Picassa (free) or Flickr and get inspired.
    • Flickr has so many fun groups. The Color My World Daily group is one of my favorites. A different color is the focus each day; Sunday is Black & White day. You can post just two photos per day. Go to Textures & Patterns and search on black, or try Black [A World of Colors].
    • Flickr artist nenokia's visual journal entry, Hiver, was drawn while waiting in line at the bank!
    • Wizardry, a mandala in white ink on black paper.
    • Find a large cork board and hang it in your office or workspace; tack up gorgeous fabric, artist trading cards, photographs, gift tags, paint chips, ribbon & postcards. You could focus on a color you typically don't use one month and change out the board for another theme the next month.
    • Flickr artist kimiekimie painted cute flat Chanel in blacks, teknocolor paula k did an art journal page in black, outside her usual vivids... and a mesmerizing 3d box doodle from sbergeron00.
    • The Inspiration Boards blog has an abundance of boards and interviews to enjoy. The Inspiration Boards Flickr group is fantastic.
    • Polka Dot Bride shares inspiration boards for color combinations; check out these palettes... Coctail Celebration Martini and Black+White+Navy.
    • For a quick idea generator on your computer, copy your black (or whatever your current focus, be it a color or a subject) photos into a folder and look at them as a filmstrip.
    • Use Flickr Tools Mosaic Maker... enjoy my B&W Inspiration mosaic.
    • Fabric and scrapbook paper provide a source of massive inspiration. Peruse fabric stores for refreshing color combinations.
    • Check out Michelle Ward's GPP Street Team Crusade #34: Come Over to the Dark Side for a challenge to start with a black page. Thanks to iHanna for the tip!

    Today we're into charcoal paint, ivory linens, black velvet fabric. It's your page. Choose any color you like. Start anywhere you like.  Check out the entire Color Series, where we've covered neutrals, pink, purple, orange, blue & beyond! And post your art inspired by any of these posts at Daisy Yellow Creativity!

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    Reader Comments (2)

    This reminds me of a color exercise I was given in a college art class. For a homework assignment we were told to find six red things that matched and bring them to our next class. What a revelation! I've never looked at color (or black and white) quite the same way since. My eyes were truly opened. Great post today, Tammy! Love & Hugs, Terri xoxo

    white is kind of the color of the page that you cover up with a rainbow, black I never poor out. but I need to try black background, timely post this, also check out "come over to the dark side" this months crusade:

    10.5.2009 | Unregistered CommenteriHanna

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