I wanna practice and start learning to draw on black paper. I realize you can just draw squares to get the sketch cuz I don’t think you can erase that easily on black paper.
do I just freestyle or is there a good way to get the outline on there?
Also don’t think they use pencils in the portrait but I wanna try with pencils first before trying gauche or something.
Hi there. I use white charcoal pencil when drawing on black paper. Generally i draw directly onto the paper. You could do a line drawing on Tracing paper and transfer just the simplest of outlines by using white chalk on the back of that drawing and then simply running a pencil over your drawn lines to deliver a clear, but soft outline to your work surface. After that you can proceed to happily add in the tones as you see them. It is just like using graphite on white or grey paper. I enjoy watching my subject emerge.
I’ll definitely order me some white charcoal to try that. I could use the trace technique just for some minor lines in the face to keep the face “measurements” like the original.
I don’t mind drawing without tracing but with recognizable characters I like to stay as close as possible to the original.
I looked up what you said and I see people using panpastel to get the lines on the black paper so imma order that as well.
In the end all this is more to practice the drawing before I start using oil paints for this portrait.
I always wanted that portrait from the nun in my bedroom and when I saw the price to buy the portrait I thought, I’ll make it myself .
To transfer contours/sketch to black paper: Make a print out of subject at the size you want your drawing to be on the black paper. On the back side of that print out scribble all over it with white or cream colored soft pastel stick. Then flip print out over on top of the black destination paper and go back to front/printed side to trace over the contours with a ballpoint pen but not pressing super hard. That will push the soft pastel from the back of the print into the front of the black paper and you can go from there.
At that point, you could go all white charcoal pencil or soft pastels, or use a bit of both, just remember that neither will stick to graphite and not super good to colored pencil if you start with white/cream colored pencil or have colored pencil on too thick. So starting with and staying with pastels or white charcoal is easy for transferring your design then finishing it up.
There are also sets of 10 firm “charcoal sticks” which are steps in grey-scale from black to white, they’re more like conte crayons which are similar to pastels but more firm than the feel of white charcoal. Those would work as well.
A white gel pen can be useful on the black paper if you need something to really pop out and scream at you but not a requirement, just nice to have if there’s a spot you can’t get light enough.
Thanks for all the helpful information!
When I was testing charcoal, graphite, gums and everything on black paper it definitely took me by surprise of how unforgiving it is.
Iv never tried black paper before and it’s so different.
Gonna practice for a while and test stuff out before starting a serious drawing on it.
Iv ordered everything I need except charcoal sticks for now. The art store here and my trusty internet store don’t have them so gonna look for them.
Wish I had a lot more time to draw and practice as well tbh. Regular work keeps getting in the way
Anyway, thanks again for the tips and I’ll definitely try it out!
I haven’t had much luck mixing media on black Artagain paper, white charcoal or range of pastels and sticking with same material all the way through. Draw light pressure and keep kneaded eraser in addition to a soft cloth to wipe off errors since erasing doesn’t work so well. Graphite just makes it shiny so nothing sticks to it which is a bit frustrating.
I’ve had good luck on both the Strathmore Grey paper and the Black “Artagain” paper with this set (I was thinking it was a set of 10 from Generals but that might also be out there somewhere): Derwent Alphacolor Soft Square Pastels, 7 Hi-Fi Gray Tones, 12 Pastels per Set (145003)