Bolder on Black

Most of my abstract designs evolve over a white background giving the impression of having been done on white paper or maybe a white canvas. What happens if bold saturated colors are placed over a black background? I did just that and came up with some rather vibrant images.

One of the techniques used to create these designs in Procreate app is applying blending modes. The objects in the compositions are layered as if they were painted on clear glass or plastic then stacked one on top of the other to compose the final image. Blending modes allow for mixing or fragmenting the overlapped objects that are stacked. Part of one object might cause objects below it to change color where it overlaps. Sometimes the value (lightness or darkness) of the color will be affected as well. This is a great tool for making complex combinations of shapes.

Author: Jeff Gold

I'm a retired musician (oboist) now living in Vermont and exploring various avenues of art, urban sketching, life drawing, block printing and digital abstractions.

12 thoughts on “Bolder on Black”

    1. Thanks, Shari! As we’ve said, with all the stress and disruption of the pandemic, it’s good to have bright colors to cheer us up. I’m so glad that you like them. They were fun to put together and interesting as experiments with both blending modes and using erase modes to create some of the line work and also to reshape some of the objects. It’s always an improvisational journey and, as with all art, you really don’t know how it will end up until it’s done. Thanks again for writing. Sending my very best to you and Spyro in these trying times.


  1. Very interesting, Jeff. The last two remind me of street graffiti that you see on city walls or objects. I think it’s the sharp angles and bold colors.


    1. Thanks, Donna. I never thought of myself as a graffiti artist but who knows, maybe I’ll look for some likely walls to decorate when no one is looking. Might be the start of a whole new venture.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. First Gail, thanks so much for following my blog. I hope you continue to find it interesting. I think what brought you to my site is a common interest in Procreate. It is an amazing program to work with. You have done some wonderful images especially for the limited time you’ve been working with the app. If I can help with getting used to working with it, let me know. You can contact me directly at if you have particular questions or comments. Good luck and keep up the good work!


      1. Wow, how kind of you Jeff. Thanks so much for your input and offer to help. I have drawn all of my life on paper so this is coming sort of naturally for me I guess. I am trying to get used to these Pen Tips that I ordered. I have a paper like screen protector on my iPad. I had done some research and found that it was advised to use the tips with it, I have a heavy hand and need to control it better so here’s hoping the tips will help.
        Not to worry, I’ll be checking out your work as it is intriguing, all those bold colors, wow. 😎
        Thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for the reply. I tried using a screen protector and it does help with stabilizing the pencil and is better for drawing but I also use the iPad for reading and other viewing and found that the protector diminishes the clarity of the screen so I took it off and am back to the screen with no covering. Be well and safe in these trying times. Keep in touch.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I think I’m going to take the screen protector off. It has an annoying little bubble in it that my OCD mind can’t handle LOL. If I find that I draw better with it on then I do have a spare…. You stay well and stay safe too.


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