Color, particularly in this era of hyper-kinetic, cathode ray, plasma and LCD display multi-media dazzle, can sometimes make us jaded about our appreciation for the subtle charm of monochromatic works. Like city dwellers taking the time to get away to the country, we might find it worth the trouble to slow down and look for quieter pleasures.
Mark Reep creates black and white tone drawings of imaginary landscapes. He has repeated themes of stratified cliffs, punctuated with rocky outcroppings or freestanding pillars of rock jutting up through valleys of mist and cloud, often with a lone tree managing to cling to life in the otherwise barren stone formations. The scenes sometimes depict waterfalls and often include stone bridges, arches, stairs or other signs of human structures.
His works are a combination of ink, graphite and charcoal. Reep works on sheets of acid-free smooth Bristol board, eschewing textured drawing surfaces for the freedom to create his own textures. Ink tones are created with the painstaking process of stipple (see my post on Virgil Finlay). The graphite and charcoal are sometimes applied in their powdered form, allowing the artist to work with them almost like a wash in paint.
There is a page on his site reprinting a gallery talk in which Reep describes his process, techniques and tools (including those terrific Pigma Micron pens that many pen and ink artists, myself included, swear by). There is also a tutorial by Reep on the WetCanvas site, and notes on altering inked passages and drawing from the imagination on his site.
Reep also has a blog, Dreams in Black and White, in which he posts recent drawings and discusses process.
Some of the images on his main site are frustratingly small. (Even though the originals are sometimes small, details are lost in the low-resolution environment of a computer monitor.) The ones on the blog often have larger versions.