After getting really into the look and versatility of white gel ink pens, I wanted to try my hand at drawing on black card. So I went out and bought a black card sketchpad and began work on a new piece.
I wanted to create something that suited the medium, something with a lot of texture and lightplay. So I decided upon the Xenonorph.
What better subject? A creature that makes use of darkness to hunt its prey. Whose very being is so devoid of light it is as evil and thus truly alien to us.
I discovered that white gel ink pens on black card helped to make the piece more credible and visceral. Where I failed to bring out the play of the light or the texture in any particular part of the piece, the medium more than made up for it. A white coloured pencil helped in those areas where the light was softer and more textured, and a little charcoal helped to peel away at the brightness of certain areas where I’d brougth in too much light.
I think because we’ve been raised to use and see black/blue marks on white paper, we’ve grown accustomed to that kind of canvas. But when we see the opposite, it really strikes a chord with our eyes, since that’s really how our eyes see—we perceive the light that bounces off the surface of materials, and this medium is all about playing with building up the white ink on the black card to simulate the play of that light to capture what our eyes see.
I had a blast making this piece and I learned a lot about the medium, so I’m looking forward to the next time I get to work with it.
What do you think? Does it do the character justice? Let me know below.