I have been looking at prints by many artists for ideas. A recurring idea which I find fascinating is how so many printmakers effortlessly move from black subject on a white background to inverted white subject on black background.
The first print I found that does this is by Picasso:
I think this composition is strong and striking for many reasons. The viewers around the outside looking in, the lines leading in or radiating out from the centre, the balance of black and white with the largest areas of solid white bordering the main subject.
Looking at this I am aware how the strong contrast of a one colour print requires careful planning. To be able to distribute the areas of black and white evenly it will be useful to move the subject from black to white.
In this print by contemporary artist Mark Hearld he effortlessly moves between black and white subjects, including within the same plant or animal.
This is a really exciting print, lots of lines giving lots of energy. Like in the Picasso print, the white areas stand out, in this print it is the ducks, looking up and leading the eye to the rooster. It uses two blocks, one blue one black. the blue block appears to have independant lines, suggesting this is a multi block print.
In contrast to this, I have also been looking at prints by Matisse:
He has taken a completely different approach, drawing in white lines in a very free expressive style. The immediacy of this really appeals to me. The Picasso and Hearld prints would have involved careful planning and development, unlike this which could have been drawn from life straight into the lino. In this print the face stands out because it has the biggest solid areas of black, quite the opposite to the first two prints. However, although the eye is drawn to the face it doesn't jump out, creating a calmer composition.