Milford Zornes in Black & White - front cover
Shack sketch by Milford ZornesSea Cave Sketch by Milford Zornes

Milford Zornes in Black & White

By : Milford Zornes, N.A.


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Milford Zornes in Black & White

Introduction by Bill Anderson

From an artist’s point of view, the word exploration encompasses a wide range of subject matter and the search to find a way to symbolize, organize and tell a coherent story about it with beauty, power, and meaning. Exploration includes processes, techniques and control with respect for the medium used. It also includes the powerful elements of lights and darks. With black and white an artist can break a two-dimensional space into a well composed illusion of three-dimensional space with form and distance, providing a full range of values without the distraction of color. It creates contrast that emphasizes one area over another or imparts a more dramatic, powerful feeling to a composition. Black and white drawings are the best way to involve viewers in the image because they can use their own minds’ eye to complete it with color details and all that is understood.

Drawing is the basis of all good painting, and drawing with a brush is the true test of an artist’s skill and knowledge—not just artistic knowledge, but general knowledge as well-. In addition to composition, value, and line, there’s a lifetime of study of the world around you and all the things you learn about the character of the subject itself. The artist must analyze and understand the subject and execute with brush thick and thin lines, solid and textured, controlled and spontaneous strokes. The brush has a mind of its own. The artist must have a fluid control or the picture looks as if the brush is in control. The black and white drawings in this book are a great example of Milford Zornes’ capabilities as an artist. They reveal his strength as a draftsman and designer of space. The subject matter varies, but he has simplified and transformed it into his own vision of its truth.

When the opportunity presents itself, Milford Zornes makes involved 22”x 30” studies with India ink and brush, using a dry brush technique that creates grays with the texture of the rough surface of the watercolor paper. He uses these studies to work out the placement of darks and lights. They also work as wonderful drawings that stand on their own as complete works of art.

In order to be a great painter, one must be great at drawing and composing a two-dimensional space. India ink is a difficult medium—direct, immediate, unforgiving. The drawings in this book evidence this truth: Milford Zornes is a great painter.

Bill Anderson
Artist, Art teacher
Owner, Anderson Art Gallery

Oral history interview with Milford Zornes, 1999 July 18-Sept. 5, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Shack sketch by Milford Zornes



Sea Cave Sketch by Milford Zornes

Sea Cave


Other Milford Zornes books

Milford Zornes: Nine Decades with a Master Painter

Milford Zornes: Book of Trees

Milford Zornes: Nicaragua Sketchbook

Format Spiral Bound
Pages 98
Size 8.5" x 11"
ISBN 1-887400-35-4