plein air landscape painting
Painting From Life vs. From Photos


Tinting paper is the fastest and least expensive ways to ‘make’ paper. One begins with a ready-made sheet, but then makes it one’s own.


A tinted sheet is interesting to look at because the tint is never perfectly even. Each sheet is a simple painting in its own right, before it is used for drawing.


By changing a white sheet into a brown or blue one, it becomes possible to draw or paint with both white and black, to develop both lights and shadows, and let the paper act as the middle tone.


I made these tinted papers using a paint made from hide glue and pigment: chalk for white, plus earth pigments and black, or natural indigo. The chalk gives the tint some opacity. I applied the tint in two or more thin layers to make it even. The paper is fairly smooth watercolor paper. In the close-up details you can see how the tint interacts with the texture of the paper, making a bit of sparkle. Any water based paint could be used for tinting.