I liked working on the toned Arches 300lb hotpress watercolor paper so much that I pulled out an older sheet that I had of the same paper but in 190lb, which is much cheaper. I had toned this paper over a month ago with india ink and didn’t do a good job of it, there is a lot of streaking over the paper. The streaking from the bad tone on the paper shows through on some of the drawing but it doesn’t hurt it that much. What it does prove, is that the cheaper 190lb Arches hot press watercolor paper works just as well as its 300lb big brother. So it looks like I will be buying a bunch of this for my future charcoal drawings.
I really enjoy starting this way. Its so rough and general that its hard to messup, plus I have a whole figure to work with right away.
This is 30 minutes into the drawing. Working from the general block-in really allows me to hit the essence of the drawing early on.
After 1.5 hours I’m really happy with this one. I added highlights with a Pitt white charcoal pencil. I did discover that the paper was toned so dark that I couldn’t hit the higher values I wanted without using white chalk. And I really didn’t like the look of the white chalk on the drawing so I erased most of it then dug into the paper with the eraser to try and get to as much white as possible. I like toning paper with watercolor better because it does erase a bit, which is amazing cause it gives another higher value to hit just in case I did key the drawing correctly.