Hi! I'm an illustration/communication arts student at the Virginia Commonwealth University. Just last semester I took a painting class with high hiGH HIGH concentration on color (as any painting class should be, I reckon) and one of the things I remember above all else was: "Don't use pure black for anything unless your last name is Seargent. It flattens out any image."
That always got me thinking and until recently when, after a couple of months all that color talk caught up with me enough that I'm understanding more, I didn't have the presence of mind to ask this. Is this a standard or just an illustration based principle?
The reason I ask is... well, to be honest- I see a lot of black floating around these forums, and not just in Black and White images. I saw something a while back that I couldn't help but to bring into photoshop and sample colors from, just to see where they were in terms of saturation and such. The image was astounding, with brilliant yellows and nice muted greens... and... black. Straight up in the red, all the way to the right and all the way at the bottom of the color selector, black as space, BLACK. I wish i had the image, because I do believe it worked well, but my little mind is still struggling to comprehend proper saturation, so what do i know?
So what's the dealio? Black or no Black? After being taught not to use it I have started to use a VERY dark (not black!) somewhat saturated complementary color of the local color to create my darkest darks of figures. I like the impact of it, but It could always be darker.... dare I say... Blacker?
Just a thought.