Artists usually create black and white images by shading darker areas but this is the reverse technique of 'painting' light areas. It naturally creates atmosphere and dramatic effect, in this case transforming a straightforward captivity cartoon into something rather more interesting. The humourous expression on the chubbie's face for example acquires a manic quality while the moon gleaming mistily suggests a distinctly chilly night for the naked captive.
Neil Bruce - Cuffed
'Cuffed' features another chubby, this time it's a cop prodding his young prisoner towards his fate. This is a more conventional drawing but utilises similar highlighting techniques. The composition cleverly highlights the intimidating bulk of the officer by placing him in the foreground and picking out details like the bull neck, pot belly and shirt tight around arm. His neglected physique suggests we are in a backwater where the sheriff is boss and anything goes. The handcuffed boy is dwarfed by him and quails in naked fear.
Neil Bruce - Fork Lift
'Fork Lift' uses a melodramatic, Hollywood 'nightmare' scenario. The bear builder seems entirely plausible in this context but his anger runs counter to stereotype. The boy captive is sexily portrayed and I love the use of a jockstrap to highlight his erection which is firmly at the centre of the picture surrounded by a radiating pattern which somehow adds a sense of a rapidly unfolding drama. The cruelty and fear hinted at in many of Neil's pictures is stronger here (it sometimes becomes much more explict than this) but the unreal presentation defuses it for the casual viewer.
This is a good example of how the artist creates a convincing image with suggestion rather than explicit detail. The fork lift tyres, for example, seem realistic at first but the tread pattern is actually very simple. The 'rubbery' arms and fingers of the victim are another trademark style serving to lighten the drama.
Neil Bruce - Bear Pit
'Bear Pit' is a favourite of mine, the helplessness of the victim, removed from the real world and dangling above the chubbies who are presented as wild, voracious animals all serves to create a classic fear scenario.The 'threat' seems relatively benign but that bondage would be very painful in real life giving more than one cause for the victim's expression. The use of dramatic perspective helps create a memorable image.
Neil Bruce - Stray
'Stray' brings us back to innocent humour and shows he can draw anatomy when he wants to. This is a much copied image but I give credit to Neil for doing it first. The absence of any hint of coercion makes it a comic, character statement and provides a legitimate excuse for depicting a view of the genitals which would otherwise be pure artifice and filth! Nice.
You shouldn't have any trouble finding Neil Bruce's work in gay art groups but you could start with his own site Bearotic Art which also has some interesting vanilla stuff.
For other articles in this series click on the 'A-Z' label below