Most of us would be happy if we could draw anything that looked even mildly realistic. I’m not talking photo-realistic, just something recognizable enough for people to, you know, recognize what it was. Apparently that wasn’t enough of a challenge for Malaysian artist Brian Lai, because while his normal drawings are admirable, he has now created two pieces drawn with inverted tones. Only when viewed in negative do his ghostly images take on the impressive appearance of reality.
His first two pieces feature Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine as black blotches on white paper. However, the negative image of each drawing reveals a surprisingly refined image – one that would be impressive even if drawn conventionally.[see_also]
Some people who have seen Lai’s work assume he’s using photographs to copy while drawing… and that’s a fair assumption. But if you watch his video below, he demonstrates how he takes a positive image and transforms it into a negative one – not directly copying a negative image. He also mentions the challenge of getting the toning correct… no small task when trying to get the exact opposite tones across an entire drawing. You can see more of his non-inverted work at his website or follow him on Facebook.
Watch this video to see the technique behind Brian Lai’s “invert drawings”:
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