Drawing On Toned Paper

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Toning your paper or surface before you start your drawing creates a midvalue color as a background, and with just two more values —a dark and a light —you can compose an interesting and unusual picture. There are many ways to tone paper, such as pastels, watercolors, gouache and acrylics, to name a few. Artists are constantly toning their canvases and overpainting with complementary colors for more interesting color effects.

For this demonstration, I'm using acrylic paint in burnt sienna for my mid-value, charcoal for my darks, and a yellow-orange pastel for my lights. The other materials needed are: a small mixing dish, a container of water, brushes, rags, and a hair dryer to speed drying the paint. The surface is 100 percent rag, four-ply museum board.

Step 1

Dip your brush into the mixture of acrylic paint and water, and apply the paint to your paper or board. (Try out your color on scrap paper until you have the tone you want.)

Step 1

Dip your brush into the mixture of acrylic paint and water, and apply the paint to your paper or board. (Try out your color on scrap paper until you have the tone you want.)

Step 3

Cover the entire board with paint, and if you are satisfied with the surface texture, let it dry.

Step 3

Cover the entire board with paint, and if you are satisfied with the surface texture, let it dry.

Step 5

If you are in a hurry, a hair dryer will speed up the drying process.

Step 5

If you are in a hurry, a hair dryer will speed up the drying process.

Step 2

Create whatever textures you want with your brushes.

Step 2

Create whatever textures you want with your brushes.

Step 4

Additional texturing can be done with a rag or by scraping or scratching with a palette knife, a piece of scrap board, or anything else that will give you the effect you want.

Step 4

Additional texturing can be done with a rag or by scraping or scratching with a palette knife, a piece of scrap board, or anything else that will give you the effect you want.

Step 6

When your toned surface is dry, begin sketching with your pen, pencil, charcoal, pastel or any other drawing medium.

Step 6

When your toned surface is dry, begin sketching with your pen, pencil, charcoal, pastel or any other drawing medium.

Step 7

To complete this drawing, I had to use only two more values — charcoal for the darks and a stick of yellow-orange pastel for the lights.

Charcoal Drawings Toned Paper

For a completely different effect, here I used Hooker's green watercolor to tone a piece of 4-ply museum board. When the watercolor was dry, I used a 4B charcoal pencil and a stick of lemon yellow pastel to do the drawing.

Water Color Pencil Interesting

DRAWING LANDSCAPES BY LIFTING OUT TONE

Here is an interesting and unusual way of composing a landscape. You could think of it as "drawing in reverse," where you start with a dark-toned surface, then lift out your landscape elements with a tortillion, rag, eraser or even your finger. Here I've used charcoal powder, but you could also use any dark-colored dry powder pigment.

Step 1

Gather together your materials for this project: charcoal powder or any other dark-toned dry pigment, vine charcoal, charcoal pencils, tortillions in various sizes, soft rags, kneaded and white plastic erasers, and a gray or any other color paper or board. Place some newspapers over your work area, as charcoal powder can make a mess!

Step 2

Sprinkle some charcoal powder on your gray paper or board and rub it in with a soft rag. Add enough charcoal to make a very dark value —as close to black as possible.

Step 3

Continue rubbing in the charcoal until you cover the area you're going to work.

Drawing With Toned PaperLandscape Drawing Tones PaperCharcoal Drawings Toned Paper Fantasy

Step 4

Begin "drawing in" your landscape elements by removing charcoal with the tortillions, rags, erasers, tissues or your fingers.

Step 4

Begin "drawing in" your landscape elements by removing charcoal with the tortillions, rags, erasers, tissues or your fingers.

Step 5

Continue removing dark tone to create your shapes, being careful to wipe the removed charcoal on a rag or tissue so you don't transfer it back to the picture.

Step 6

After you've lifted out the shapes you want, you can then work back into your drawing with vine or charcoal pencils to add details, emphasize shapes, or make an area darker.

Step 7

The finished result depicts a mysterious, moonlit forest. Try this same procedure on any color of paper or surface —even white —for surprisingly different effects.

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