When choosing new art for the home, apart from all the other decisions you need to make, which style do you prefer, the black and white route, or the colour path? There is much debate in the art world, as to which one looks visibly better and whether one or the other better suits different spaces in the home.

Are there any rules? Here we look at the positives of both black and white and colour art, and shall leave the final decision up to you.



Black & White

Black and white is often considered more timeless and chic than colour, often because we associate black and white with a more elegant era. Black and white accentuates the light and shadows of an image and therefore brings new dimensions to an image you may not have seen in colour. It grabs our attention, for the most part, because we see in colour, therefore it stands out from the crowd and distances us from our “normal” reality.

Often black and white images can draw us in further and make us look closer, could this be because colour can instantly convey emotional state, seasons or mood? Often in black and white, faces can seem clearer and more compelling. In summary black and white is simple, classic and makes us look deeper. If you are looking to create an elegant and stylish space in your home, black and white canvases and prints could be the perfect answer.


Colour catches the eye and draws in the viewer; images and prints in colour are vivid, bright and striking. Colour can give instant context to an image – such as colours we associate with seasons or times like autumn or dawn. Not only that but colour can also communicate mood seamlessly, we all know that yellow depicts spring or happy, and blue can be considered cold or lonely. The artist can convey their message clearly through the use of colour, quite simply colour helps to tell their story.

If you have an image with a variety of contracts, then colour will usually work better as contracts don’t translate as well in black and white. Colour has a dynamic range, which adds drama to an image. Colour can also immediately highlight and draw attention to a focal point of an image. In summary, a painting or print with a rich colour palate is perfect for brightening up a space that is tired or cold, and it can also blend perfectly with similar colours in a room to create a theme.

Honestly, we believe there is no right or wrong answer as both are compelling and captivating in their own way. The same image in black and white or colour, will have positives and negatives and engage the viewer in a variety of different ways. There are some artists that favour one over the other, and some that blend both effortlessly. So over to you? Which do you prefer colour or black and white?

- Urban Road

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