The Impact of Contrast

When I usually illustrate my caricatures, I draw on paper and leave the background empty. I usually do this to keep it simple and just have the figure be the focus of the piece. This past week, I did as such, but added a background digitally.

Below is the side by side of the original and edited version. My eye immediately is drawn to the right illustration. This stark contrast is essential; the majority of highlights create a glowing result. The background is also not jet black, but was sampled from the darkest dark in the drawing. (Also keep in the mind that the paper is not fully white).

This use of contrast also gives the same piece an entirely different “feel”. What would the effect be if the drawing was given a colored background? Or even a pure white one? I will experiment with these concepts and might even try a pattern. Below are two other finished versions of caricatures I completed this week.


“ANGELI” – Ballpoint Pen on Paper, Pier Angeli


“PALMER” – Ballpoint Pen on Paper, Arnold Palmer

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