Correcting Mistakes on Black Paper

Correcting Mistakes on Black Paper

Correcting colored pencil mistakes can be difficult on most papers. Today’s question involves correcting mistakes on black paper. Specifically on Fabriano Black Black paper.

That’s the paper the artist who asked today’s question is using. Here’s the question.

My beginners’ project called for Black Smooth paper such as Stonehenge.  It wasn’t available in the art supply store in Portland.  Instead, I ended up with Fabiano Black Black drawing paper.  It is beautiful–just don’t try to erase anything even the tiniest dot.  Do you have any recommendations?  I picked up some of the heavier line drawing chalk lines with a kneaded eraser, but I still have a CP smudge and erasure marks on the otherwise unblemished black area.😥

Lesson learned:  Using different/new paper, one should check it out for smudge and mistake removal in advance.

My thanks to this reader. I’ve heard of Fabriano Black Black paper, but never used it. My go-to black papers are Canson Mi-Teintes most of the time. I also use Strathmore Artagain paper in black. Making corrections is pretty basic on both papers.

So I had zero experience with Fabriano Black Black paper. The first thing I did was get a pad of it. It is a beautiful, coal black paper. The reader who asked this question is right. The paper is beautiful. I’ve never seen such a deep, dark, black paper. It’s almost a work of art all it’s own.

But what about correcting mistakes on it? I shaded a few colors onto a sheet, then tried some of my usual correction methods on it.

Following is what I learned.

Correcting Mistakes on Fabriano Black Paper

I made two samples. For the first sample, I shaded two colors side by side using light pressure. I applied an increasing number of layers to get progressively more color saturation (fewer paper holes), but I did not increase the pressure. I wanted to see how easy correcting mistakes was after applying color as I normally apply color.

Next, I used an ordinary click eraser with a white plastic eraser to erase across the center line and both colors. Even after several strokes with the eraser, there was still a hint of color left on the paper. It’s difficult to see in this illustration because of the lack of contrast between pencil and paper, but there is still a whisper of color in the erasing mark.

Next, I layered colored color (a lighter color!) over another piece of the paper using light pressure.

Then I applied more color with heavy pressure. I was almost burnishing with these layers, and I went over the same area two or three times with heavy pressure.

Next, I used the click eraser again, removing color through the middle of the area. I hope you can see the ghost of the original color in the erasing mark.

What you can’t see is the slight scuffing of the paper’s surface caused by my erasing. The damage wasn’t bad, but there was damage.

My two experiments revealed that it’s relatively easy to layer color on this paper. It’s also fairly easy to remove much of the color, no matter how you apply the color.

But it’s also easy to scuff the paper, at least with a click eraser.

Covering Smudges

As for correcting the smudges and marks on a current drawing, my best suggestion is a two-step process.

First, carefully remove as much of the color as you can. Use light pressure and try not to scuff the surface of the paper. Given my results with a click eraser, mounting putty is probably your best option.

Then cover the remaining color with colored pencil. Use a combination of black and other colors to match the natural paper color. You will probably want to try some color swatches on a scrap piece first. Apply the colors with light pressure, small strokes, and a sharp pencil, and fade them so they blend into the color of the paper.

The Best Solution

Of course, the best solution is to avoid making mistakes as much as possible. Don’t laugh! I know how difficult that can be, but it is possible. Stop and think about the colors you need to apply. Test colors on a piece of scrap paper or along the margins.

Once you’ve decided on the colors, apply them slowly and carefully with light pressure. Evaluate your progress after each layer or during each layer to make sure you’re getting the results you want.

I know that sounds like a lot of work, but it beats making a mistake you have to fix, or even worse: Having to start over!

Got a question? Ask Carrie!

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