One of my favorite words is “eigengrau.” When first I learned this word, I was told it was the color one sees when one closes their eyes. However, this isn’t entirely accurate, as what a person sees when they close their eyes depends on what colors they last saw, the brightness of the room they are in, an so on.

In actuality, eigengrau is better described as the dark shade of grey one sees when in a completely dark room with no lights. Even with no outside light source, there are still residual sensations sent along the optic nerves, and the lack of contrast results in a deep, dark grey.

With this in mind, I set out to create my own interpretation of this wonderful word. I began with a light grey canvas, over which I drew with a variety of digital brushes using only the “eigengrau” shade, which is #16161d in hex, or 22,22,29 in RGB. Finally, just for contrast, I added a single strand of very light blue.

This drawing has several interpretations for me, but the simplest is this: though it may sometimes seem as though there is no light, it is never truly completely dark. Sometimes life can be described as “eigengrau.”

“Eigengrau” – digital artwork by Enrique Martinez

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