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Digital Subscriptions > Leisure Painter > Jul-19 > Coloured pencil basics

Coloured pencil basics

Part 7 To complete this series on working with coloured pencils, Judith Heilbronn Crown demonstrates how to work on black paper
Near Lynmouth, coloured pencil on Somerset Velvet Black paper, 101⁄2x15in. (27x38cm)

Having discovered that I love working on black paper as well as white, I now choose to work on it a lot and have experimented with quite a few types. In general the softer pencils work best on black. I use first Caran d’Ache Museum or Derwent Watercolour Chinese white on the very light areas of all black papers then apply the other colours over them. If you use yellow directly on black paper, for instance, it will create a greenish tinge so if you want a bright yellow, use a bright yellow over white. The colours I use are mostly Caran d’Ache Museum, Prismacolor and Derwent Coloursoft and Lightfast.

Try all your white pencils on a scrap of black paper first to see which work best for you. Derwent Procolour and Artist did not work as well for me, although I expect other people will find that they love working on black with them. The softer watercolour pencils, mostly used dry, work well, with the bonus that you can dampen the lead and make pigment.

Pencil colours look different on black paper to how they look on white so you need to experiment and make a chart of the colours on black paper until you are used to them, or test them on a scrap before you use them.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the July issue of Leisure Painter. LP is aimed at teaching beginners and amateur painters to paint successfully using traditional skills, and features some of the best-known art tutors in the UK. This month you will find David Bellamy discussing how to be a more creative watercolourist with the use of collage, mediums, printing and more. Tim Fisher continues his personal look at colours, with a demonstration on how he uses orange lead pastel in his work. Colin Joyce introduces this month's painting project from the road, as he introduces readers to stunning scenery from the NC500 route in Scotland. There are also demonstrations and tutorials in watercolour, acrylic, pastel, coloured pencil and oils, and a beginner's look at painting on silk, covering all your favourite subjects: landscapes, flowers, trees, figures, wildlife, still life and more.