Something Everyone Has Done At One Time Or Another

It’s funny how we find something that we like, and then tend to do that same thing over and over. We might change certain aspects of the process, but it’s not until someone else opens our eyes to different possibilities that we’re able to make a change. And it can be the simplest change that can really open our eyes.

How does this relate to art, you might ask? In so many ways! One is the base on which your art is created: the substrate. In Drawing magazine (Summer 2012), Jon deMartin shares the vastly different effects that you can obtain when using colored paper.

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Competition for the Prize for the Study of Heads and Expression (1761; black and white chalk on toned paper) by Charles-Nicolas Cochin. Collection the Louvre, Paris, France. “Artists have a wide assortment of color papers at their disposal,” says deMartin. “If an artist wants to create an atmosphere or setting, the paper can be an important ally for achieving that intention.”

“Drawing on white paper is something everyone has done at one time or another. A child who makes his or her first drawings with pencil, pen, or crayons will likely use a piece of white paper. White paper presents a pure and pleasing contrast to whatever medium the artist chooses to use. Ingres, for one, was famous for his sensitive line drawings on white paper, many of which are considered masterworks in their own right, even those that were created as preparatory sketches.

“But for every artist who has mastered the art of contrasting white paper with dark line and tone, another has been transfixed by the challenge of drawing on toned paper–a practice that offers opportunities for incredible beauty and complexity. Drawings on toned paper make up much of the canon of Western art, from the Renaissance to today.”

Each issue of Drawing is filled with lessons on how to draw, including the fundamentals and advanced instruction on the figure, landscapes, and so much more. The best way to keep that inspiration at your fingertips is to subscribe so you won’t miss an issue. Learn more here, and let me know what your favorite color of paper to use is by commenting below.

Happy drawing,
Cherie Haas, online editor**Subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction, and ideas, and score a free download on How to Draw People Using the Block-In Method.

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