Working on colored or toned papers gives you the opportunity to stretch your imagination and creativity. For a winter evening scene like this one at right, for instance, you might think of working on a blue paper. In fact, the blue paper does give a pleasing effect of dusk changing to evening. But why not try another color? Quite a few darker colors would be effective for a night scene, as shown in the demonstration below.
A piece of blue Fabriano Ingres paper became my midvalue background for a winter-evening scene. For the dark areas of trees, mountain and clouds, I used a 2B charcoal pencil and a piece of medium soft vine charcoal. The snow in the foreground and the evening light behind the mountain were done with a light-value, blue-violet pastel.
I chose a sheet of Ingres Antique laid paper in a dark gray color called Smoke, and sketched in the background trees with a 2B charcoal pencil.
Next, I turned to the middle ground. Using a little more pressure on my 2B charcoal pencil, I put down a darker value than the trees. This gives the impression of a dense woods. I also added the winter moon with some white pastel.
Once the background and middle-ground values were established, I began adding trees over them without disturbing the tone. I varied the height and thickness of the trees to give a sense of perspective, placing the largest, most detailed trees in the foreground.
With the forest completed, I began to work on the snowstorm. I piled the snow in the crotch of the trees, then very lightly, with a fine point on my white Conté pencil, I added snow on some of the thinner branches. With a piece of white pastel, I carefully stroked in some snow between the trees, then worked it into the foreground with broad strokes. (When drawing a snowstorm, you want to show enough snow for effect, but be careful not to overdo it.) Some saplings drawn with a sharpened 2B charcoal pencil completed the picture.
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