Reverse Drawing


'Reverse drawing' is drawing with light colours on dark paper. This exercise helps improve your overall drawing and painting skills. It requires some practice to get familiar with. When the technique is applied correctly, drawings can appear to pop-off from the paper.

What you need

  • black paper
  • pencil crayons
  • pastels
  • subject (photo reference or fruits and vegetables)
Architectural drawing on black paper by Richard Lee

Architectural drawing on black paper by Richard Lee

What you do

  1. First practice drawing on a test sheet of black paper with light pencil crayons.  
  2. Choose a subject for your drawing. It can be fruit, fish, birds, plants, space, building, cars, etc.  Keep in mind that it should have a dark background.
  3. Lightly draw the outline of your subject on paper with a light coloured pencil.  
  4. Colour in highlights and colour with pencil crayons. Add in stronger colours and highlights with pastels.   
  5. Once you have completed your reverse drawing, make another one!