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Sunday, September 08, 2019

The Magic of Black Paper: Painting on Uart Dark

'Dancing Queens'           12x9             pastel             ©Karen Margulis
available $250

I wanted to paint some poppies for a Patreon video demo. I love painting poppies. I really wanted these poppies to to appear as luminous and vibrant as they did in real life. I had the answer in my paper paper. I pulled out a piece of Uart Dark 600 which was the perfect choice. Why paint on dark paper? Here are a couple of reasons:

  •  VIBRANCY. Look at how bright and intense the pastels in the above painting appear on a black surface.  Pastels glow and come to life on a dark surface. Because the paper is black or dark....the lights and brights appear even lighter and brighter than they would on a lighter surface. (simultaneous contrast at work) 
  • TIP: When choosing a subject to paint on black choose something that will exploit the ability of the dark paper to make light and bright colors pop. Subjects such as flowers are wonderful candidates for black paper. 

Uart Dark is available in a variety of grit

  • CONTRAST: Black or dark paper can lead to stronger paintings. The dark tone provides the glue that holds everything together. It provides the much needed contrast with the middle and light values. If handled well the back paper can help unify shapes and prevent spottiness. I like to block in a painting with simple shapes of 2-4 values. These big areas of light and dark form the foundation for the detail and colors to follow. Working on a dark paper ensures that my darks are strong enough. (often we are afraid of pushing the darks too far and we end up with disjointed and weak paintings)
  • TIP: The Uart dark paper is dark but there are some pastels, notably the Terry Ludwig eggplant which is actually darker than the paper. I like to use these 'super darks' with restraint as accents. This makes the dark paper a perfect overall dark allowing my accents to pop!

If you'd like to learn more about Uart Dark check out my complete review here:

If you would like to learn more about painting flowers and see this a video of the poppy painting up close join us over on my Patreon group. This month our focus is wildflowers up close and personal!



Very beautiful flower painting !!!

KC said...

Gorgeous work and thanks for sharing.

Debbie said...

This is beautiful! Thanks for sharing