Toned paper question

I have been drawing a lot lately, I tend to go from painting to drawing and back. I have been looking at old master portraits and been enjoying drawing them, yet as soon as I am done sketching and I look at it, I like what I see, yet I can never get the darks as dark as I want...or think I need. I love the grey toned paper for creating nice white highlights and I want to get some that is bigger. Most is just standard letter size.

I have seen charcoal paper but it is expensive so my question is, smooth or toothed paper and what is a decent paper that is grey that doesnt involve selling my kidney..


  • NootBear

    Try soft pastel or charcoal on newsprint. $0.20 cents for an A2 sheet. (see attached dwg.)
    Great for doing lots of drawings and compositional layouts.
    The charcoal or pastel can tone the newsprint in half a minute - dry and ready to draw on.
    Lighten tone with chamoise, erase with putty rubber, blend with fingers. Highlights with white pastel.

    Use the expensive store purchased papers for redoing the best of your newsprint drawings.
    Alternately, use Yupo (plastic) paper (A2 $4) painted with Art Spectrum Colourfix Primer ($12. $6 on special) heaps of pastel tones and a perfect fine sandpaper-like surface for pastel.

  • edited May 2014
    It depends on the style you are trying to achieve, I would recommend trying both to find out which one suits you best. This is the paper I use


    It comes in two flavors GRAY and TAN and sizes range from 5"x8" to 18"x24"
  • Thank you both, I have the same sketchbook and it is great yet a little small and pretty expensive even more so if you want a larger sheet. The newspaper is a great idea, wonder why I didn't of it lol I will get pad f that and draw on that some more.
  • NootBear

    I reckon loose sheets are better, I bought a pack of 500, 20"x 30" - you are not paying for the binding and cover printing you don't need.

  • You can buy a large sheet of 24x36 toned paper at pretty much any art store for a couple of dollars. If you're doing quick throwaway sketches, newsprint fills the bill. But newsprint is not archival or acid free, so if you're working on a finished piece that you want to last, you'll need to pay for paper made for that purpose.
Sign In or Register to comment.