Why I Love Toned Papers

April 13, 2011

Above: Page spread from my current journal. I used Nideggen for the pages. Nideggen has a wavy laid texture and flecks of fibers. I used Brilliance rubber stamp inks.

There are hundreds of reasons why I love to work on toned papers. I had to share one with you today. I was working on a page in my 2011 fake journal and had leftover rubber stamp ink on my palette. I quickly speared some of it on a page spread in my regular journal.

On the toned paper the color pops!

This is true whether you are working with gouache, acrylics, colored pencils, or, as I was above, with rubber stamp inks that are pigmented (and not transparent).

Toned papers are also great for sketching because you already have your middle tone and can work up to your highlights and down to your shadows.

If you don't like having a steady diet of toned papers in your journal simply take your white paper pages and prepaint some of them with lovely, rich tones you can paint over.

(You can see my fake journal as it grows over at the Official International Fake Journal Blog.

If you would like to read more about Nideggen and how I use it in my journals, use this blog's search engine and the word "Nideggen."

  1. Reply

    This is an interesting look. I don’t think we can get that paper here. The next sketchbook I make, I am going to splatter inks before I tear the signatures.

  2. Reply

    Wendy, it’s great fun to splatter all the pages before you tear your paper—you don’t have to worry about your paint running over onto the next page spread and you can have a color theme running through your book. I’ve done some books where all the paper was prepainted before I tore it down, and then I painted fabric and made bookcloth to match the paper
    Then the color theme is everywhere!

    Whether you paint before or after the paper is a book I know you’ll have a lot of fun!

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