Italian photographer Giulia Pex has a series of Father's Day–inspired images entitled Dad, you are my favourite superhero that mixes drawing, illustration and photography to showcase her father's superpowers as she sees them. Artists learn that a line in a drawing or painting is often visual shorthand for the contour of an object, which we perceive using lateral inhibition.
In addition, neurons in the first stages of visual processing cannot distinguish between a solid form and an empty frame. As a result, the eye readily accepts line drawings despite the fact that they offer only the edges of a form. The extra effort required to interpret the image may actually make line drawings more compelling to our visual systems, holding our attention for a longer time. Here Pex tricks our line-finding neurons by drawing in a cape with just enough detail to make us see her dad's superhero status.