Like a lot of artists I love the contrast between light and shade. It creates drama and working with black paper can accentuate that. It can make bright colours pop and can bring the subject right to the fore. It helps with shading and with my chalk pastel pencils it can be as easy as adding the slightest of pressure.
The challenging aspect of chalk (especially white) on black paper is that the colour will be absorbed into the paper to varying degrees. This will start to happen almost immediately and will progress. So it is not unusual for me to add layers to re-intensify the original colour that I began with. It is also interesting that a layer can evolve as it settles in to the paper to have a ‘crackle’ appearance (a good example of this is on the white face paint of my portrait ‘The Meiko’. This can help or hinder depending on what kind of effect I want. I could want a smooth coverage so I will need to go over the ‘cracks’ or I might leave it as is to give character, substance and/or texture.
In my portrait ‘Into The Light’ I experienced an issue that I’d not come across before. I was so intent on achieving a bright vivid (almost fluorescent) colour by using enough pressure on the paper with the pencil, that I’d accidentally removed the texture in the paper. This meant that the chalk pastel refused to adhere to the paper, no matter what I tried.(I even erased it and tried to pull the texture out unsuccessfully with a putty rubber). I discovered a product called ‘Colored Pencil Touch-up Texture’ but decided against using it on the portrait as I’d not tested it and didn’t want to make it worse! I managed to create enough cover so the patch wasn’t too noticeable and it successfully sold!