Using white pencil on black paper can be really satisfying and a great way to inspire your students. It’s a valuable way to teach your students how to create smooth shading, the importance of being able to make that shading go imperceptibly from light to dark, i.e. tonal/value scales, and how shading creates form.
It’s a good idea to start with something simple. Art teacher Rachelle Bruce got her students to create these wonderful spheres. I like that they created a value scale at the top of the paper. She can really see some great teaching and learning going on here.
Rachelle then went on to get her students to draw the wonderful pumpkins below. You can really see what they have learned being applied. What great progression.
Using gorgeous Prismacolor pencils #Ad to capture the sparkling reflections on transparent objects, these bright whites really zing out. This really drags still life into this century. What wonderful work!
You may want to get your students to do direct observation, or if your students have taken photographs, you may want to give them a helping hand by letting them use white transfer paper #Ad
My student below has used a paper that, although sold as black, is more of a charcoal grey colour. The white Derwent #Ad pencils give a subtler look that is appropriate for the subject matter of a skull. I love the perspective that this student has chosen and all the detail and variety of tones that they have captured.
If you are looking for an artist that works white pencil on black, you could introduce your students to the Instagram artist ‘WhitePencilonBlack‘. Her amazing portraits are below and there are plenty more to look at on her Instagram account.
She tells me that she uses white Prismacolor pencils (#Ad) and for extra white Staedtler glasochrom (#Ad), and works on 140gsm black Canson paper (#Ad). I didn’ t know there was a pencil whiter than Prismacolor! Good to know!
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