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  1. #1
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    How to hand tone paper?

    Hi all,

    Is there any way to tone white paper by hand to make it some other color of choice (green, pink, blue, etc) without altering the texture and quality? Many of my favorite papers only come in white (why, I have NO idea).

    I know that some artist do this, but I can't find a good step-by-step guide on google.

    Thanks.


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  3. #2
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    In life-drawing back in artschool we would use thinned acrylic paint to tone our drawing papers - - extremely diluted. It was a couple blobs of liquitex in a medium sized jar full of water and then mixed thoroughly.
    After that we would apply it with a cheap big brush.
    I wouldn't know how to get an even tone, but the point was to start on a surface that was drippy, uneven, and textural.

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennygeeze View Post
    In life-drawing back in artschool we would use thinned acrylic paint to tone our drawing papers - - extremely diluted. It was a couple blobs of liquitex in a medium sized jar full of water and then mixed thoroughly.
    After that we would apply it with a cheap big brush.
    I wouldn't know how to get an even tone, but the point was to start on a surface that was drippy, uneven, and textural.
    Thanks for the response! I guess you could just hang it to dry if you don't want it drippy?

  6. #4
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    Watercolor is the most common thing to use. For beiges and tans, try coffee and tea.

    Tristan Elwell
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    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron

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  8. #5
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    Ah... yeah Elwell beat me to the punch. Dyes and inks could also work quite well, although permancy could be an issue.

    If you're worried about permenance, use lightfast watercolors. Otherwise, coffee, tea, thinned ink, and dyes will work well.

    However keep in mind that unless you have a thicker stock paper, chances are it will warp and bend. You can either get thicker papers (150-200 gsm, would be my guess for a toned drawing paper) or look into techniques for stretching watercolor papers.
    -My work can be found at my local directory thread.

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  10. #6
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    You can also press and/or iron thinner papers to flatten them out. (If you iron, use very low heat and sandwich between cloth. I would never iron a finished drawing or painting for fear of ruining it, but if you scorch or badly wrinkle a blank piece of paper, oh well.)

    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron

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  12. #7
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    Using colored inks would be my recommendation. I think they'd work better than watercolors.
    David B. Clemons
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  13. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anid Maro View Post
    ... or look into techniques for stretching watercolor papers.
    That's a good idea! I wonder if traditional watercolor stretching techniques work OK on thin drawing paper?

  14. #9
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    I couldn't say for certain, I've never cared much for stretching papers myself, but I don't really see why not. The only concern would be ripping the thinner paper, but it's not like stretching watercolor paper is a particularly rough process to start with.
    -My work can be found at my local directory thread.

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    One of the reasons for stretching watercolor paper is to keep it flat while it's being painted on. If you're not planning on painting on the paper later, you can just keep it pressed flat under some weight while it dries and not have to tape or staple it down. Be careful not to soak thinner paper too long or it'll fall apart.
    David B. Clemons
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