Fussing around testing materials may not be as interesting to my blog followers. But it is important. As you play and create with new combinations, however, it is important to try to figure out what they will do on new substrates and new colors combinations. If I plan to take some of these materials with me "on site" in outdoor painting I'll need to think about which ones. One cannot carry a suitcase! (Well you could but that would severely limit your mobility!) To carry a bit more "dry" color materials with me...I have to figure how which one suit my needs. Today I played on black paper a bit.
The 3 toned papers you most often commercially buy are gray, tan, and black. You can, of course, tone sketching paper with any color you want in watercolor. Or even in acrylic. And then draw on top..the possibilities are endless. That's the fun.
One of the artists I follow who often uses toned paper is Pat Southern-Pearce. She is from England and considers herself (I think) mainly an urban sketcher. She has a splendid professional background in art so her abilities are hugely beyond mine.
What I find inspiring currently is how she can take a scene and re-imagine it so amazingly! Here's an example:
Here is Pat (looks cold) out with a leafless tree and some sort of little building and fence. Not a lot of color here, is there? I wonder how many of us would have found this scene inspiring enough to stop and set up across from it?
Okay...here is Pat's interpretation. She seems to think and see in another world, doesn't she? How fun.
I am letting that sort of ability she has to re-see the world without totally leaving the actual spot she was in inspire me. Note how she does indeed use the tree shadows that hit the street but in a magical way.
General I am a bit more "literal" in my interpretation of scenes...of course, not totally...I often leave out backgrounds, move trees, shift colors, and add some shapes or background shadows to enhance my scenes. Pat takes this to a little more extreme!
When you see an artist do this it helps you to see "outside the box" a little. That's why we all share our work on blogs and face book groups etc. We gift each other with "new artsy glasses" in ways to see the world. I want to live in Pat's world. Don't you?