Heavyweight vellum drawing is a firm, clean, 30% recycled sheet that is popular among charcoal painters because to its texture, but it also works well with any dry medium. The paper's weight varies between 70 and 90 pounds per ream.
Charcoal is a carbonized wood product formed from the partial combustion of cellulose material such as tree bark or wood. When burned, the volatile components are driven off and only stable carbon remains. Thus, charcoal has a low nitrogen content and a high heat-absorbing capacity. It is used as an artist's medium for painting because it absorbs oil and watercolor paints and can be worked over with a brush or pencil before it is burned. Charcoal comes in several grades depending on how much smoke it produces when burned: lump charcoal, garden charcoal, paraffin wax, sawdust, and bamboo. Lump charcoal is the most useful for painting because it does not need to be ground up before use.
Lump charcoal is made by heating soft woods, such as maple, oak, beech, and fruit trees, until they burn down to their stumps. The remaining coals are then cooled and collected. Garden charcoal is made by heating grasses or other plants, which contain a large amount of moisture, such as hay or cornstalks.
Working with graphite pencil, colored pencil, charcoal, sketching sticks, mixed media, airbrush, and oil pastel is best on vellum. Vellum is most commonly used as an alternative to canvas for painting and drawing.
Graphite and colored pencil will stay on the surface of the vellum if you don't rub them off. You can erase any mistakes simply by wiping the surface clean. If you want to change something about your illustration, just come back later and re-draw it in fresh ink or paint.
Charcoal and sketching sticks will burn through vellum, but not always completely. If you want to get everything out of a section of vellum, burn it. But if there are some areas you want to keep intact, use a sharp knife to cut around the area you'd like to save.
Mixed media refers to using more than one medium in an artwork. For example, you could use gouache and watercolor to paint a picture on vellum. The grain of the paper would show through in places where the two colors met so they wouldn't completely cover each other up.
Airbrush techniques work well with vellum because you can create fine lines that won't blur when you paint over them.
Working with graphite pencil, colored pencil, charcoal, sketching stick, mixed media, airbrush, and oil pastel is ideal on vellum. While this paper is very flexible, it is not waterproof like cotton paper. Graphite or charcoal drawings can be sealed with acrylic paint or gesso.
Vellum comes in several weights and sizes, but only the heavyweight 16-pound (7.2 kg) paper is acid free. The lighter 12-pounder (5.4 kg) paper may discolor when exposed to light at first but can be treated like regular paper by using a dark frame or covering with plastic wrap/tape. The 8-pound (3.6 kg) paper is similar to regular paper in weight but is slightly thinner; it's usually used as overlay stock for larger paintings.
Because vellum is so flexible, your drawings will appear soft if you use a hard brushstroke or pen. You can make your strokes look stronger by adding some texture - use a medium to heavy hand pressure when drawing or use a calligraphic style brush.
Cotton swabs work well for cleaning out your oil pastel jar. Just dip the end into some clean water and then into the pastel container.
The Vellum finish is ideal for pencil, charcoal, pastel, airbrush, and light washes. Traditional watercolor methods are not advised. The velvety surface can take on more paint than you might expect, but it does not absorb water.
Vellum comes in a variety of colors and styles. The standard white background is available in a number of sizes for various projects.
Vellum has many uses beyond being used as canvas for painting. It is also useful for drawing and writing on; printing designs or photographs onto; and molding into shapes such as bowls or boxes.
The most common use for vellum today is still as art canvas, but it has other applications too. Artists have been using vellum as a medium for centuries. In the 16th century, artists began applying wax to their paintings to keep out moisture and increase their durability. As an alternative, they could use vellum as a support medium instead. Artists often painted over existing images or added new ones once their work was done. This process known as "relining" is still used by some contemporary artists.
There are several types of supports used by artists for different purposes.
Vellum is a special sort of paper that is utilized in arts and crafts. Though it used to refer solely to a type of calfskin paper, contemporary vellum is comprised of cotton and wood pulp. It may be used to make greeting cards, scrapbooking, and tracing patterns.
The word "vellum" comes from the Latin term velleum, which means "willingness." Vellum was originally used by monks as an alternative to written on parchment because they were not required to write their books during church services. The books would then be taken off the altar and stored for use at another time. Today, vellum is used primarily for artistic purposes.
Monks did not invent this form of writing material; they simply found a way to write without using ink or paint. Before them, people wrote with charcoal or bone pens. Vellum has been used for scrolls since ancient times; indeed, some medieval manuscripts are made from animal skin rolled with a wooden frame inside a church building. During the Renaissance, vellum became popular again for painting and drawing.
In the 17th century, vellum began to be used for maps. At first, these maps were drawn on cloth strips and pasted onto a sheet of vellum, but now they are usually done on paper. The vellum is then trimmed and mounted on a frame.
First and foremost, let's clear up any misunderstandings: This page is about contemporary, plant-based vellum, often known as a variety of other names. Whatever you name it, it's all the same thing: smooth, fragile paper that can be seen through. It is available in a variety of colors, weights, brands, and textures. Some are white or light colored, while others are colored using dyes or pigment treatments.
Contemporary vellum consists of sheets of paper with a thin layer of glue on one side. They are used by artists for texture and as a means of painting on both sides at the same time. The paint must be water based or oil based; acrylics will not work with this material because the heat from the pencil or pen will cause the paint to run or drip off the page.
Because it's made of mostly cellulose, which is found in wood pulp, your art on vellum looks very similar to art on canvas. However, due to its delicate nature, art on vellum should be protected from moisture, abrasions, and heavy materials such as books. Book covers themselves are usually printed on book cloth, which is even more durable than vellum but doesn't come in as many colors or styles.
If you'd like to use vellum as an alternative medium, we have some articles on how to make your own book cloth and how to dye fabrics.