Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Kraft Paper Christmas Class

Kraft paper is humble, yet beautiful.  While it is the source for paper grocery bags and cardboard boxes, it also is used for "decorator quality" hand blocked wrapping papers, totes and gift boxes.  In other words, it's country, but it's cool!  I love this look ~ so different from stamping on white!  Here are some close up examples from the "Kraft Paper Christmas" pencil coloring class that I recently taught.
6104  Wintertime Woody
6109  Must Be Santa!
6107  Wintry Window

6108  Angel On High
2253  Hawthorne & Roses
And to share with notes from the class!

MID TONE  Tan kraft paper is a mid toned color, consequently, it provides a nice middle range value that lessens your coloring time.  In class, we will focus on deepening it with shading and lightening it with highlights of pastel and white. 

PAPER TOOTH  Kraft paper does not need to have an initial layer to smooth out fibrous paper tooth with pencil wax. The rougher surface of the paper and grainy look of the coloring adds to its homespun charm.  

WHITE   Color whites in can color over white pencil, but white pencil doesn't fully cover over colors.  A good way to shade on top of the white is with pale grey.  Try using a pencil stroke that follows the direction of your object, for example: the flow of Santa's beard, the furry trim on his suit, the slope of the snow drifts.

EXPERIMENT  It's always a good idea to use your sample swatch to test colors.  They will look a bit different than what you are used to seeing on white stock.
COLORS  I suggest adding lighter colors first, then darker colors on top.  You can always go back and add a second layer of light color again to brighten it up. 

SHADING  Make the paper tone work for you!  I have let the paper be part of the shading on Santa's beard, the window shutters and the Christmas tree boughs as it provides a nice undertone that is perfect for these objects - no initial layer is needed. 

FILLER  After counting, I found myself adding about 50 "snow" dots to each Woody card.  Dots are made by wiggling the point of the white pencil in a teeny circle.  Don't make them too big, or they will morph from falling snow into a polka dot look. 

METALLIC  Silver, gold (and copper - if you can find it!) look great on kraft paper stock!  Their shimmer is a perfect foil against that "paper bag" brown.  I think a black, white and metallic color theme on kraft would be a very elegant look.

FUN  Have fun with this different paper surface...that's what it's all about!

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