Why do you paint in Black and White?

As much as I love colorful artwork, I have never had it stir my soul like Black and White. 

There are 2 examples (One New and one Old) that I always come back to when I am asked this question. 


In 2009, Nick Brandt, an African wildlife Photographer released “A Shadow Falls”.

It is, to this day, one of my favorite photography books. It depicted a world of beauty and soul like I had never seen before. It instantly shifted my painting mindset. There was an emotion in this work that I was somehow failing to communicate with my painting. 

Nick Brandt

I began to experiment with Black and White painting, not intending (at the time) to move away from color, but to understand how the magic was being captured and how I could incorporate it into my work.

Early experiment in B&W – Keith Andrews

While It took many failed attempts and frustrating months, I slowly began to find the formula for not only the look, but also the technique to allow for the smooth, almost mystical transitions from pure white to near black.


In 2018 I discovered the work of Kevin Mullins, a British Wedding photographer who was also able to convey that feeling of mood and magic with Black and White. 

 Studying his work was the next piece in the puzzle for creating the feel of my paintings. 

Kevin Mullins

Simply removing color from a painting or photo did not suddenly make it magical. 

The next component was directional lighting. Picking a single source and lighting the subject. I began to work with both back and side light to experiment further. 

Side Lighting – Keith Andrews

Back Lighting – Keith Andrews

I continue to research new lighting and painting techniques every day. 

For both collectors and followers of any artist, I think it is important to understand their aspirations and to see progress in the message they communicate with their work. 

I am proud of every painting that I have released and excited to continue my pursuit to make art that stirs the soul. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. 

Keith Andrews 

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