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Friday, February 21, 2014

How To Make your Own Black Paper

'Winter Delight'            18x18          pastel        ©Karen Margulis
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Black paper is fun. It can be dramatic. The colors really come alive. I have always liked painting on black but recently rediscovered how fun it really is.  I have been working on small 6x6 paintings on black Artagain paper. But I wanted to paint larger. I can order it by the sheet and I will but until then I was impatient to try one of my small ones on a larger scale.

So why not just make my own black paper!

It's easy enough to do. Simple tone your favorite paper black. You can use thinned  black acrylic paint or inks....thin enough not to clog the tooth of the paper. But I didn't even want to wait for my paper to dry.  I took a black pastel (I rarely use them in a painting so I have a pile of them)  covered my paper lightly and used pipe foam to blend it all into the paper.  Instant black paper!

Toning my paper black with a black pastel
It was ready for my painting. The pastel tone was applied thin enough so it didn't create a problem with the subsequent pastel layers. It didn't muddy my colors even when I painted very light values. I did end up adding some workable fixative to the bottom but only because I wanted to get a little icy texture.  I could have easily sprayed the entire surface with fixative or even washed it with an alcohol wash. Both techniques would 'fix' the black tone. I really didn't have a problem though.


Lorraine said...

It is so cool to see someone else using black pastel as a ground for pastel painting! I started doing exactly that a while ago (and until I discovered pipe foam from reading your blog, my finger tips got pretty raw!) I still have no black sanded pastel paper to work on, so this is the only way I can achieve the effect I love so much.

robertsloan2art said...

I've done that with lighter colors rubbing them in with a foam brush but never with black. That's awesome! I can see you laid on more pastel than I did in my blue-violet experiment, which lightened about two value steps on rubbing in.

Cestitke M said...

Never thought on using black acrylic paint to do this. I must try this as sometimes is hard to find black paper in stores.