TOP: I was intrigued by the light shining on this old house at Chudleigh in Tasmania’s Meander Valley. Sadly, the house no longer exists, but it was a great subject to draw.
MIDDLE & BOTTOM: Two dilapidated houses near Pyengana in Tasmania’s North East. I love the negative areas, especially in the lower house.
WHAT PAPERS DO I USE?
I always prefer thick, soft papers as they are very responsive to the various pencil tones. In fact they are so responsive that for example, I can obtain a 4B shade with a 2B pencil. This means I can work with a firmer pencil point for more accuracy. The softer the pencil, the harder it is to maintain a good pencil point.
Watercolour paper 300 gsm and thicker, is ideal. I like to have some tooth (texture), so a medium paper is my preference although I have worked with both rough and smooth surfaces.
Cartridge paper is a good, cheap alternative, but I recommend that you have another sheet underneath to give you a soft, responsive surface.
Coloured papers are also good to work with and white can be added for a stronger light source.
THE DOWNSIDES: Soft papers mark very easily and this is evident when you erase an area. I suggest that you work lightly and build up the tones before adding the darker pencils. Be careful when working with the H pencils, especially 2H – 8H as they are extremely hard and dent the paper easily. Don’t press too hard . Use a 2H to block-out your drawing.