Color the Emotion

Pick a few colors and create without stiffness.

Why Draw in Black and White?

I have often asked myself: “Why draw when you can paint?” And as someone who loves colors, it hasn’t always felt appealing to omit them. Still, one of the biggest things in my artistic development has been to find a connection to my childhood through black-and-white drawings.

Virtual Reality, an illustration drawn in ProCreate using an iPad and an Apple Pen. By Paivi Eerola.
Virtual Reality, drawn in ProCreate using an iPad and an Apple Pen.

In this week’s blog post, I want to inspire you to draw things you love in black and white. If you want to practice ink drawing with me, see these courses: Animal Inkdom and Magical Inkdom!

My Way to Drawing in Black and White

It’s been over thirty years since my father’s death. He was quite distant, but I still vividly remember when he drew horses when I was a child. The horses were not noble and streamlined like in the picture books, but furry sympathetic characters. It was as if my dad really knew these animals.

So it was no wonder that when I participated in the Inktober drawing challenge in 2018, my drawing style borrowed a short hair-like line from my father. You can say that at that time, I fell in love with drawing. Nowadays, I still draw in black and white every time I want to visualize something through my thoughts. I now have an Apple Pen and Procreate, but I sometimes draw on paper as well.

See a quick 4-minute flip-through video about one of my sketchbooks!

See more pictures of the children’s book illustrations: The Beauty of Science – Illustrating a Children’s Book

Why Draw? – Move from One Idea to Many!

Drawing visualizes the invisible and makes us think deeper. First, the idea is wavering and could take any direction. But as the details increase, the big picture also grows. Therefore, it’s important for me to let the pen linger in small areas. I find pleasure in putting tiny pieces in place so that they are part of a bigger story.

Drawing in black and white. Paivi Eerola answers to the question: Why draw and why draw in black and white?
See this drawing finished in the blog post: All Things Necessary in My Artistic Journey

There are two good things about drawing with a thin black marker pen. First of all, the pen mark cannot be erased. You have to figure out how to make the wrong stroke a part of the drawing. It has often happened to me that the core of the picture was created while correcting a mistake. Another advantage is that when you don’t have to worry about colors, you can focus on shapes and patterns in peace. And of course, you can always color the drawing afterward, for example with colored pencils or watercolors.

Why Draw? – Connect Your Art with Your Origin!

I believe that anyone who has drawn for a while will develop an understanding of why they draw. I have a feeling that I was created to express things through ornaments. For me, an ornament is not just a picture, but a whole language. When drawing ornaments, I’m on the border between writing and illustrating, and feel that I am doing something important. As if I belong to those authors to whom poetry appears as pictures.

Black and white ornament. An illustration by Paivi Eerola.

It’s confusing, but this connection between drawing and writing seems to have arisen in me when my father drew a horse. Of course, I didn’t know how to break it down like that as a child, but I now think of my father’s horses as ornaments that summarized the origin of our family. It wasn’t the most elegant possible, but I still wanted to give it wings. Nowadays, every time I draw, I feel close to where I am coming from. I hope that by drawing you too will find wings for your origin!

What would you like to draw? Leave a comment!

8 thoughts on “Why Draw in Black and White?

  1. I just loved seeing your lovely sketchbook – I just wish I could watch it going slower!
    Inspirational as usual, Pavii.

  2. Great seeing your sketchbook, Paivi. I recognize a lot in them from your fabulous courses, which I certainly encourage people to take. I got lot’s out of it.

    Maybe there is something about the ink thing – when I was a child I used to love drawing with a black marker. That and paint. Something about the tactile quality they have, which I enjoyed much more than pencil. Though maybe pencils got a different association because that was what I used at school.

    Having choices is also very liberating.

    Looking forward to see what you come up with next!

    1. Thank you, Cynthia! I like how you brought up the tactile feel of a marker, I never thought of that but can relate. When drawing on iPad with an Apple Pen, I enjoy the tactile feel, which has been quite surprising.

  3. Beautiful drawings! And I enjoyed reading about how your dad’s drawings of horses influenced you. My grandma used to draw and paint roses in watercolor and portraits of her grandchildren in oils, and I never imagined then how much of a lasting connection to her those memories and paintings would give me.

    1. Thank you, Melinda! How nice to hear that you have similar kind of experiences that have made an impact on you!

  4. This is such an inspiring collection, Päivi! It gathers together the lessons from ‘Animal Inkdom’ and ‘Magical Inkdom’, adding more drawings/illustrations that encourage me so much! (Those were my favourite courses.)

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