First snow and other experiments on toned paperPosted: November 19, 2017
I should be grading a big stack of projects but I’m procrastinating. I bought this little book of Stillman & Birn Nova series toned paper (3.5″ x 5.5″) and I can’t stop sketching in it. My first experiment yesterday was a sketch of Alice, drawn with Cretacolor pencils — Nero oil-based charcoal in medium grade, and white chalk. The great thing about this charcoal is that it doesn’t flake or smudge like regular charcoal and you can get really dark blacks.
This morning before breakfast I tried a Cretacolor water-soluble pencil, again mixed with white chalk. This toned paper is thick enough to take a light wash without warping too much.
When I finished my sketch I looked out the window and saw big fat flakes of snow falling, so I rushed to the window to sketch the view, using a Cretacolor sanguine pencil, more graphite and white chalk. The chalk works best when you draw with it on virgin paper. If you try to draw over graphite lines it goes grey.
As the snow started to accumulate I moved to a back window that faces the wheelbarrow and sketched with all the pencils I had already used, plus some Titanium White watercolour. This one got a bit overworked.
My last experiment was in my studio, using white gouache and Payne’s Grey watercolour (with some final touches of Winsor Red watercolour). The gouache is even more effective than the chalk on this paper. The toned stock is wonderful (it’s also available in grey or black) and I’d love to keep experimenting all day but sadly, that grading won’t get done on its own.