Here’s a neat trick to add spots of color to black paper or paper of any dark color. It’s fast and easy, too. What could possibly be better?
What’s more, you can add bright color to dark paper using this method.
I really enjoy drawing on dark papers. Black is a favorite color, but greens, blues, and browns also attract my attention. There’s just something about putting color on a darker paper that no lighter paper can match.
But lets face it. It can be so difficult to get decent color on dark papers. Colored pencil seems to seep into the paper and disappear!
But my holiday doodles and plein air sketches led to a neat way to add spots of color to black paper. Or any other dark-colored paper.
Best of all, it’s easy!
How to Add Spots of Color to Black Paper
Hold your pencil vertical to the paper, with the tip of the pencil on the paper. This part is important. If you hold the pencil any other way, you will not get spots. At least not round spots.
Turn the pencil a half turn or more without lifting it. The more you turn the pencil, the brighter the resulting spot of color will be. You may need to support the pencil with your free hand to keep it steady on the paper.
Use medium pressure. Light pressure isn’t enough to get bright color. Heavy pressure may result in puncturing the paper or breaking the pigment core. I shattered several pigment cores while doing the drawing below. The good news is that they didn’t damage the paper.
A soft pencil such as Prismacolor Soft Core or Caran d’Ache Luminance works best with this technique, but I’ve also had success with Faber-Castell Polychromos.
You’ll also get better results is you use a soft paper like Stonehenge or Canson Mi-Teintes.
I used this “trick of the trade” to draw this lighted Christmas tree and stars on black Canson Mi-Teintes, but it would work great on any other dark colored paper. I’m eager to find dark green, dark blue, and even dark red paper.
It’s also an ideal way to add spots of color and accents to any drawing on any color paper.
Other Tips and Suggestions
This method impresses the marks into the paper, so you could use it on light colored paper to add spots of color, then shade other, darker colors on top.
The size and brightness of the spots you add vary depending on the softness of the pencil and paper you use.
You can add small details to any type of drawing with this method.
One Final Comment….
This discovery proves how important it is to draw regularly, even if you’re just doodling or playing with color. I would probably not have learned how to add spots of color to black paper this way if I hadn’t been doodling.
So do some doodling. You just never know where it might lead!