Surreal Abstract Shark Jaw With Lines – Black and White

Dark shark jawbone with lines. Surreal abstract art in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Cherry Vitium Black.

This is a late addition to Cherry Vitium. I revised that image, and the revision lent itself to black and white much more readily than the original.

(I probably could have made the original work, but chose not to at the time for some reason. Funny how the idiosyncrasies and inaccuracy of memory can mean that your previous self is inscrutable. Man, this parenthetical is getting long and tangential. I’ll stop now.)

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Surreal Abstract Circle With Elephant Bone – Black and White

Floating elephant bones with black circle. Surreal abstract art in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Disconnecting the Gray Dot. It’s the third in a series, a black and white version of the second, which is named Disconnecting the Dot. These first is called Disconnect the Dots, and is tonally very different, with a very dark background.

(Even when doing variations of an image I like to have different titles for each instead of numbering them. Edit: that policy’s been changing lately.)

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Surreal Abstract Circle With Elephant Bone

Floating elephant bones with blue circle. Surreal abstract art in peach and blue by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Disconnecting the Dot. It’s the second in a series of three. Disconnect the Dots is the original, and has a dark color scheme and slightly different composition. The third is black and white and named Disconnecting the Gray Dot.

Like a lot of my work at the moment, this piece has a simple composition. Despite that, or perhaps because of, balancing the space and light was still very challenging.

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Surreal Abstract Shell With Lines – Black and White

Seashell fragment with lines. Surreal abstract art in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Lemon Laeotrope Black.

I didn’t even try to echo the tone of the color version here, and as such the brightnesses of all the elements is mixed up in comparison. I quite like that, though. The feeling of black and white is different anyway, but switching the shell and geometric lines to be the darkest features generates even more of a mood shift.

It’s difficult to predict what a black and white will require ahead of time. Some work merely by stripping out the color of the original version, others like this one require tonal balancing, and yet others could work with multiple tonal schemes.

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Surreal Abstract Shell With Lines

Yellow seashell fragment with lines, on blue background. Surreal abstract art by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Lemon Laeotrope 2.

This image is an update of one of the first pictures I did in this vein. The original was was subsequently deleted because I eventually found it uninteresting, and its color scheme began to bug me. But I like the overall premise of it, so I’ve reworked it. Quite heavily as it turns out—it has a much stronger and more dramatic color scheme, plus the surreal element of the lighter section of the background.

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Surreal Abstract Floating Crab Shell – Black and White

Floating crab shell collage with black curves. Surreal abstract art in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Marine Black.

Generating contrast in this black and white conversion was challenging. The collage crossing such a range of tone in the background made for a fine balance, especially because I also wanted the geometric curves to stand out.

I toyed with making the curves stark white, but while that initially seemed interesting, it undermined the image overall.

This is one of two iterations—the other is a brown collage over aquamarine background, called Marine.

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Surreal Abstract Floating Crab Shell

Brown crab shell collage with black curves, floating on light blue background. Surreal abstract art by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Marine.

This continues the trend of raiding my archive and completing old drafts.

The base composition is very similar to Vagility, but I felt like I could add something fresh to it because my style has developed. Not to say improved, just changed. Indeed I still really like Vagility and the other variations of this crab shell base.

This is one of two iterations—there’s a black and white called Marine Black.

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Surreal Abstract Shark Jaws and Lines – Black and White

Hovering shark jaws and patterned white lines. Surreal abstract art in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Strawberry Subjunct Black.

In writing about the color version of this image, I forgot its true genesis. It actually stemmed from a completely different phase in which I was solely making skull art. Further, its basic aspects are straight out of one I called Man Vs Shark (which is black and white too).

It’s fun to see the contrast, especially considering all the time in between. Despite the overall similarity, this one has a totally different effect. Whereas the skull image with its textured background has an organic feel, this is more clinical—something echoed in all my recent work.

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Surreal Abstract Shark Jaws and Lines

Hovering shark jaws and patterned white lines on apricot/pink background. Surreal abstract art by Joseph Westrupp.

Title: Strawberry Subjunct.

The Port Jackson shark jaw photo makes another appearance here. It’s also the basis for Cherry Vitium.

It’s such a fascinating and unexpected shape, certainly not what would normally come to mind in association with the term ‘shark jaw’.

This might take the record for longest duration between draft and final, the rough outline patiently waiting in my file dump for I think at least 3 years.

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Surreal Abstract Elephant Bone Collage – Grayscale

Elephant bone with striped geometric shapes. Surreal abstract art in black and white by Joseph Westrupp.

The title of this picture is Murine Scansion Black.

I brainstormed a loose draft of this on holiday in Canada, but didn’t think much of it at the time. Thankfully I saved it, because after a couple months break from art it caught my eye and I knew how to develop it.

But there’s an eternal battle between saving endless drafts and judicious deletion. The files can be huge and end up using a lot of storage space. But aside from the impracticality of it, many first ideas just aren’t good. So the trick is in knowing how to evaluate work. Which is fine in theory, with the wrinkle that ideas once thought dead ends can grow on you (like here).

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