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  • Writer's pictureJason Morgan

How to choose the right coloured paper

A question I get asked frequently is "how do I select the right paper colour". Well there is no absolute answer and in all honesty pastels are so opaque that you can ALMOST get away with any. BUT there are some things you need to keep in mind > As most of you know the paper I use for all my pastel drawings is Pastelmat, for me the surface is just perfect for the layering technique I use. Now a great plus is that unlike most other pastel papers it comes in lots of different colours and thats can also be the issue - which one to choose? Well keep in mind that the darker colours of pastelmat paper are a bit rougher in texture and the lighter colours are smoother. So anthracite is quite rough / light great and white are smoother. For that reason alone I generally pick a paper colour that is more midtone (light blue / brown) - this gives me enough tooth for layering, but not so much that you can see paper texture in my drawings. The other benefit of a midtone paper is that both dark and light pastel marks show up straight away on it (think of it this way, if I used a white paper and drew on it with a white pencil it would not show up). Now what about paper colour? Well I personally dont like something that is too different to the general colour of the overall reference photo, but there is more to it than that - watch the video below where I can show you exactly how I choose my paper colour.

Now of course you could just use pastelmat light grey (which is almost white) for all your drawings, but as you saw in the video, using a mid toned paper has some huge advantages, especially for beginner and novice artists. But I am all for using as many things as possible to give myself and others the best chance of the drawing turning out good :) Hope this helps - if it did please give me a like so I know to do more like this ;) For hundreds of full length lesson videos, reference photos, access to our privat egroup etc check out my Patreon art channel HERE

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