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Making Art on a Black Surface: from Leonardo da Vinci's Notebooks

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Art: Kristena West M.A. 2005


“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.” 
Leonardo da Vinci

When I make art/sketches every day for my online art store, I love working on black charcoal paper. Black fills in the background so you don't have to work so hard, it helps whatever you do. 

When I teachWomenSpirit classes, I give the students black craft paper,  it's in-expensive and has a "tooth" so media grabs at it. When I told the (adult) women that the paper was "craft paper" this takes the pressure off the idea that an expensive paper means a "good" art piece HAS to HAPPEN. Cheaper "craft" paper allowed them to be expansive and allowed creativity to flow, there was no monetary loss in making art.


Art: Kristena West M.A. 2005

These are simple sketches, to keep my hand and eye moving, they are not finished work. I used pastel hard sticks and allowed freedom to map out shapes, color and mass. Not every piece has to be finished, it can be a relief to just play and see where a piece of art goes. Allowing your inner artist the freedom to play and create in different media, styles and color compositions releases us from that darn inner critic and perfectionist. There is no bully, like that inner one, that sets an artists teeth on edge when approaching a blank canvas or paper.

My advice is to get creative and loosen up every day to make a little some'in some'in arts or crafty women!





Art: Kristena West M.A. 2005
all Artwork on this page is Sold




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