Cool Things to Draw on Black Paper

White Prismacolor Colored Pencil

White Prismacolor Colored Pencil

Sometimes it’s nice to “shake it up,” and try doing some drawing on dark paper and work dark to light.

It’ll give you a clearer understanding of the differences in contrasts, because you have to effectively work OPPOSITE to how you would normally do when drawing. Normally, with traditional pencil or charcoal on top of white or light paper, you work from a light surface, and gradually darken certain areas to simulate areas in shadow, or away from light.

When working on a dark paper (or similar drawing surface), you are actually simulating areas that are in the light, and the darkness of the paper represents shadows. It can be very liberating to work in an opposite manner, but it will definitely make you a better drawer.

That said, what is the best drawing instrument to use when working on black paper? Well, I’d recommend whatever gets you the best grades of “lightness”; you might consider a conte crayon (sort of a crayon for big kids), or oil pastels. Both of these can really lay in some serious white, but tend to be a bit too soft to get really intricate detail. horse drawn in conte crayon (erased with charcoal)Chalk pastels are the dustiest, but they work–just don’t expect them to be really deep in ability to fully cover the black underneath.

Another one to consider is a fairly soft colored pencil with a rich pigment in it, like Prismacolor Colored Pencils. These can be sharpened to a fine point and hold up well. They have a bit better coverage than the chalk pastels, too.

How do you erase white on black paper? Well, you don’t really have to if you don’t want to. I’d suggest using a charcoal (like a vine charcoal), and add it wherever you desire to “erase” white marks. It’s an additive approach, but the black underneath makes using this method of drawing very forgiving. Drawing on black paper with white

Bottom line is to have fun, and you may find this to be a more preferable style for you. Nothing to lose– Just get in there and get your hands dirty! If you want to learn more, this book, “Dynamic Light and Shade,” is a great resource.

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Jason Sipe Jason Sipe (68 Posts)

Jason Sipe is an artist, craftsman and writer. He has spent the last 20 years working in the art and media fields. He now turns to this blog and helping others learn about creating art as his main focus.