I worked about 4 hours more on this today and it's almost finished, I just need to do a little tweaking here and there. I was afraid that maybe the green card would dominate too much but I think it's okay. I won't list all the pencils I used - too numerous! - but there are 8 greens, including turquoise green, indigo, periwinkle blue, aubergine, orange, 3 yellows, cream and white from the Supracolor range. I also used Prismacolor Lilac and, to get that background really dark, I used Lyra Rembrandt Night Green which is the darkest green I've found in any of the brands I have.
Lots of people tend to shy away from using coloured pencils on dark papers, mainly because it seems really hard to get good, strong, bright colour down. I rather like working on dark paper now so I thought I'd put down a few of the things I've learned - someone might find them useful.
My tips for working on dark paper
- Firstly, I choose a shade of paper according to the subject I want to draw and the effect I want to achieve. Usually, this shade will act as the base colour for the picture thus cutting down the amount of time I'd have to spend laying down pencil colours. The paper colour I use is integral to the picture I'm doing, so I choose carefully. Sometimes I get it wrong but it usually works out well.
- To keep my colours vibrant, I'll lay down different colours side by side rather than layering one on top of another. I've found that heavy layering tends to dull down the colours and make them muddy. By 'side by side' I mean a few fine strokes of one colour and then, alongside, a few of another colour with minimal overlap.
- Occasionally......just occasionally......when I want to achieve a really dark shade, I'll mix 2 (maybe even 3!) colours together. On the Viola, for example, I layered Aubergine, Indigo and Night Green to achieve those inky patches on the background.
- I'm very sparing with the White pencil when it comes to the brighter areas. I use creams for 'white' areas and add White pencil only on the very brightest parts of my subject. I've found that doing this makes highlights stand out much more.
These are just a few ideas, I'm sure there are many more out there. Feel free to let me know!