I have been working on this beautiful horse drawing alongside drawing Shadow. The two pieces take quite different approaches. Shadow is in graphite pencil on white paper, which are familiar tools to all of us, whereas this drawing is being created with white coloured pencil on black paper.
I wanted to draw another horse and when I was looking for inspiration there were a few that caught my eye, so I decided to immerse myself in this pair of monochrome portraits for a while.
Drawing with white on black like this is a highly effective method as it gives the strongest contrasts and therefore a lot of drama and potency to the image. I have a number of white on black drawings in my gallery, and after some years of working this way it is now comfortably familiar to me, though it is not something I would recommend to a novice artist as it can be very confusing.
We are most familiar with reading and writing on a white page and therefore highly attuned to seeing the darker marks that form words and images. We are not aware of it but we focus on shadows when seeing in this way, but switch the page for one that is black and now you need to attune yourself to the highlights, pushing the brightest values and in turn creating the shadows by the absence of mark making. It requires us to see and draw tonally in reverse, which certainly takes some getting used to. It is a technique that I love and once mastered is faster than my graphite work, and for those pictures which are heavy on the darker values it is a striking and most effective approach.
Many thanks to Paul B Nash for this photograph of my work in progress.