Bob the Hipster black and white illustration for a magazine

For many years, magazines and books used black and white or grayscale illustrations in their text. This cut the printing costs since only one ink was being used, while still supplying some visual interest, as well as capturing buyers who leafed through the publication at a newsstand.

Over the years, these illustrations pretty much vanished from novels, gradually being reduced to just a front plate picture or perhaps a partial sketch in the front matter of the book, and then finally all but vanishing.

But today, with a huge number of books going into print, many presses as well as self publishing authors are discovering that they can gain some extra “value added” pull by placing a few pictures in the text. And in today’s competitive market, such extras can translate into more enjoyment for the reader, and also added sales. As the old saying goes, “Every little bit helps.”

Here are a few B&W pictures I’ve recently created for various books and magazines.

And, yes, I would enjoy creating some for you, too.

Fight f - black and white art for a magazine

Here’s a little dwarf created for a short story “The Medical Emergency” in my Lightning War collection:

medical emergency dwarf black and white illustration for a book

This is “Nikki” who appears in the science fiction novel Antigrav Unlimited 3.1:

Nikki - black and white art for a novel

And, finally, “Sudden,” another character in a short story in Lightning War:

Sudden c low res black and white illustration for a book


Duncan Long is a freelance illustrator (and sometimes writer) who creates black and white artwork for use in magazines and books. See more of his artwork at: Duncan Long’s Portfolio.