Tips And Tricks For Painting With Vellum

One thing you may realize when you first come across vellum paper is that even though it is very similar to the tracing paper you are used to seeing, they may not be made the same. Vellum paper is available in different weights, and it is made through different processes giving us a different texture each time. 

Vellum is a writing surface that looks like traditional parchment paper and serves as a writing surface for painting. A lot of people may find it challenging because of its varied surface and translucent appearance. 

 Our customers at ThunderBolt Papers love vellum paper for printing and crafts. With this article we will discuss some features of vellum paper and see how painting can work on it. 

To start with, for painting any paper should be: 

  • Not too smooth:
    A paper that has a certain texture to it will be able to hold the paint or colors better than a coated or super smooth paper. In other words we are required to allow using different colors and absorbing the pigment. Paper that has little tooth or a certain rough texture to it allows easy handling of brushes along the surface of the paper as well as other mediums. 

  • Heavy 
    A paper that is too thin or such as a copy paper may crumble under its own weight when handling water colors for any acrylic paints. This is why you must choose papers that are thicker than regular copy paper or bond paper for the freedom of mixing colors and techniques for painting without having the paper lose its shape. 

  • Acid free:
    Any paper that is made without lignin becomes acid free full stop this means that acid-free paper II is not subjected to the usual wear and tear that happens because of environmental reasons without becoming yellow and brittle overtime. 

The curious case of painting on vellum paper

Vellum has a particularly interesting surface and when mixed with its translucent nature you can use it into many different crafts and art.  Even though the most commonly found surface for vellum is smooth, not all of it is the same.

  • It looks and feels like plastic. 

The surface and appearance of vellum is like plastic can become challenging for some activities. Some papers may even have a vellum finish which refers to a slightly medium tooth which really is just texture. This means even though vellum paper may look like paper unfit for painting it has texture which can be useful for sketching, drawing and painting. Even though it may look like plastic it behaves like a paper when it comes in contact with water, but it may not work well with oil based colors. 

  • Vellum paper is not porous 

Whether it is animal skin based vellum or modern cellulose-based vellum paper they are both non-porous in nature but not all vellum paper uh aah non-porous. This means that you might have to try a technique called dry brushing for painting on the non-porous kind of vellum which includes allowing each layer of paint to dry before using the next layer. 

  • It is translucent 

Since vellum paper is translucent you must consider keeping a white background for clear depiction of colors and pigment on the paper. Even if and up coloring the vellum paper sheet you may feel like you will need two to three layers of color for a proper bright or rich presentation of objects and their colors. 

  • Try heavier weights 

If you plan to try painting on vellum paper regularly you must try slightly heavier versions of paper so that they do not crumble under the weight of water or color. Typically, if you wish to use multiple layers of color to overwhelm paper you must try vellum paper for successful results. Then do not forget to handle vellum paper carefully and allow the paint to dry when you are done with it. In the end, what matters most when you begin to experiment with vellum paper and paint over it, is that you practice patience. Try different weights of vellum paper available at ThunderBolt stores and let all your creative juices flow over the paper.