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Saturday, March 5, 2011

What's That Brown Drawing Paper?

Lately I've had several people ask about the paper I use -- the brown stuff. What it is and where I get it.

So I figured I'd post some links, and encourage y'all to play because I've found brown paper SO much more fun than stark white.


The dog portrait, above, is on a cotton-rag printmaking paper called Rives BFK Tan. I love this paper so much it might not even be moral. You can get it at Blick or at Wet Paint. It comes in big sheets and you tear it to whatever size you need. This is heavy, velvety, and holds up to ink washes, watercolor, paint -- pretty much anything you throw at it, it won't buckle, and that's a tough thing to find.


The Greyhound drawings, and a lot of the sketches I've posted recently, are in my Cachet Earthbound Sketch books. The only place I know that carries them locally is Wet Paint, but even they are hit or miss. Easier to get these online. They come in a variety of sizes. The paper has a lovely speckly quality and a really nice tooth for drawing. I love it, but for dry media only; it is lightweight and will buckle badly if you use washes on it.


Some of the bolder things, like this toy horse drawing (Uncle Oscar's Appaloosa, mixed media, 13 x 10", sold but if you love it I'd love to make one for you) are on textured brown paper I prepare myself. If you click and enlarge it you'll see the brush-stroke texture that permeates the drawing, and that's from the prepped paper.  It's a fun and simple process and I'll share it in another post if anyone's interested.

9 comments:

  1. Very awesome! You know that I'm not an artist, but I had wondered about the paper...

    -wombat

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  2. Isn't it fun stuff? I love it.

    You know, if you and the girls want to just play w/out spending extra money, the blank back sides of paper grocery bags are a lovely color for this sort of thing. :-)

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  3. Alas, we always use our own bags at the grocery store - at 5 cents per bag, it adds up after a while!

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  4. Hm. Do I have your current mailing address? Email me. The bags are free here and people are constantly putting stacks of them out to recycle.

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    1. This is late but anyway xD
      You use brown paper bags?

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    2. Hi Aly,

      I don't generally use brown paper bags, but I certainly have sketched on them, and it's fun. If you don't have money to buy paper or you just want to play with the technique to see if you like it, sure, why not use a grocery bag? If you enjoy it you can buy artist-grade paper later on.

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  5. do you use a grid for exact propotions as in the dog drawing....beautiful.....and im a cat guy.....peace ltrav54@aol.com

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    1. Sometimes I use a grid, sometimes not. For the black dog, I did; he was one of the most difficult portraits I ever created.

      I adore cats, but sadly it's rare that I'm commissioned to draw them. I'd love to do more.

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  6. Next you need to spend a month doing people's cats. :)

    If the brown grocery bags aren't free you can also use the brown paper bags with handles that restaurants like Cracker Barrel use for their carry out.

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