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Drawing on black mat board

-Much sturdier than working on paper

-Highlights are added

-black drawing media becomes an “eraser.”

-Smooth surface.

-Can be layered on top of endlessly.

-Color is already “filled in” to begin with.

-Great drawing surface for color drawing media, like crayons.

Art Supplies: Black Mat Board for Drawing

Video transcript

“I think most people when they draw they’re using a white sheet of paper so the idea of drawing on a sheet of black mat board I think feels a little bit unusual at first, but once you’ve done it, you kind of think to yourself why wasn’t I doing this before?

There are so many advantages to working on black mat board. The first thing is that black mat board is really sturdy and stable, and you want that for materials like crayon when you know you’re going to be really rigorously drawing on that surface. You want to have a surface that’s going to be really strong if that’s going to really be able to take that physicality of your drawing process.

If you try to do that on a black sheet of paper, the paper so fragile, that the risk of it tearing or getting wrinkled is so high and with black matte board you don’t have to worry about that at all. I mean this can really take kind of a lot of physical aggression and be totally fine at the end.

You add highlights and this is so different as a concept because if you have a sheet of white paper, the highlights are already there, so generally speaking you don’t have to draw the highlights. But then this is the cool thing: I love the fact that your black crayon is an ‘eraser’ now because if I wanted to get rid of this highlight, I would just take the black crayon and just color right on top of it.

Especially if you’re drawing in color, if you’re using oil pastels or chalk pastels or crayons, black mat board is super helpful. Because if I take my crayon and I color the pink on a sheet of white paper you can see there’s this graininess to the way that the pink looks on the white.  

To get rid of that graininess takes a long time, I mean I’d have to layer like five layers and I’d have to press really really hard to get past that point. Where as with the black mat board if I take the same pink and I color that pink on top of that black matte board, you no longer have that graininess because that black is holding the ground instead of the white sheet of paper. So, it’s a huge advantage to have that already filled in with the black mat board.”

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3 responses on "Black Mat Board"

  1. I find that occasionally working white-on-black is just an excellent way to mix up my drawing process and break out of my bad habits; it’s such a different way to approach a piece and it’s good to try and look at things from another angle sometimes.

  2. Love the video! I was wondering though: are there any brands of mat board that are better than others? Would you value quality over price or vice versa when buying mat board?

    • I honestly think with mat board that it really doesn’t matter what brand you buy. There are certain supplies where the brand you choose can make or break your experience, but mat board is not one of them! I seriously have never encountered a piece of mat board I have ever had a problem with! So yeah, I think you can’t go wrong here.

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