Searching for some new inspiration and motivation – after getting stuck doing the horse-on-bristol-smooth thing – I bought a new drawing pad: black Artist Aquarelle Paper. I think it costed about €1,80, so I’m not expecting much of it. The surface is not as smooth as the bristol, so it might hold a bit of pastel. Also, I really like the effect when drawing on black paper. I have never bought real quality paper, so I haven’t been able to draw a lot of details, but at the same time… that’s what I like about it too. I think it’s a good thing for me, to finish a drawing in less time…😉

This paper is new to me, so I start experimenting. A layer of panpastel gives a smooth underpainting, but… I can’t use any pencils on top of it! I try pastel pencils, oil-based and wax-based colour pencils, charcoal, even soft pastels, but nothing sticks. Hm. It’s called ‘aquarel paper’, so I grab a brush and wet it. No difference. A bit of solvent. No effect. Hm. This is not exactly what I was looking for.

So, I continue with just a single layer of pastel pencil. Here or there I manage to add a stroke of a second colour, but that’s about it. Well, since I was planning to draw faster, this might be good. Because I’m drawing freehand, it takes some time and focus to carefully get the proportions right from the start. But after about three hours, I call it a day – there’s no point in spending more time on this.

It’s not a beauty – the original ref (from by Alexas_Fotos) is, though 😃 – but this was a nice way of picking up the pencils again. And I do love black paper.

quick tiger drawing on black paper

Which makes me go through my drawings again, looking for the ones on black paper. I’ve done a few, on a €1,50 pad from Lidl:

crowned crane
(ref from by KRiemer)
(ref from by Alexas_fotos)
horse profile in pastel
(ref by Robert Vavra)
Foto van
(ref from by 4924546)
Foto van

And also a few on a tiny A5 Clairefontaine pad:

(ref from by Sponchia)
tekening zwaan
… just a 10-minute experiment …
(ref from by Ruca Souza)

What I like most are the ‘empty’ parts that are in the shadows, which are filled by your imagination, like with the dog or the horse. And the other good thing is, those parts save you a lot of time… 😁

It does take some experimenting how certain colours turn out on black paper, and the layers can look different as well. But since the cheap kinds of paper I use don’t hold many layers, that’s not such an issue, you simply have to pick the right colours, and be content with it.

A downside is, though, it’s really hard to take a representative picture of your work…

What’s your favourite? Or do you prefer white paper?