How to Use Colored Paper as Your Drawing Tool

Published: January 25, 2019

It’s no secret that card stock is one of my favorite art supplies in all the land. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever bought a regular pad of colored paper for my kids. Hate the stuff. It’s flimsy, unsaturated, and the color choices have always been less than inspiring.

While you probably normally use colored paper to cut out shapes or make cards, you can also use it to make some really cool drawings. Yep, you can cut the colored card stock into ‘lines’ to draw images with.

The result is clean and graphic, and is reminiscent of block prints.

I set out my 30,000 lb bin of colored card stock, scissors, and a glue stick, and got cutting, with no preconceived ideas of what to make.

paper craft

Paper Drawing 1

First I started by cutting some straight lines with tapered edges out of turquoise paper – I wanted to experiment with some of the neon card stock colors I have on black paper.

I cut a bunch out that were about the length of my pinky and shorter, then I just played around with positioning them on the paper. It took me a few ideas before I settled on drawing a tree with the pieces as branches. (This is similar to my geometry trees drawing project, huh?)

All the little blue lines looked a little lonely by themselves, so I added some lovely berries. I think the whole thing looks sort of folk-arty now.

paper craft

Paper Drawing 2

Next up I stayed with the black paper as the background, but grabbed a piece of white card stock and cut a large circle out of it.

From the inside dot that was left over, I cut small pieces from around the outside, so I had some nice little gently curved pieces to draw with on the inside of the white circle. I used them as little lines to kind of shade in one side of the circle, and I love how graphic linocut it looks.

paper drawing

Paper Drawing 3

Next I tackled a self portrait. Sort of. Actually just a face with blonde hair, so I can call it a self portrait if I want. I cut the yellow pieces in varying lengths and amount of curve, and then cut a few darker yellow pieces for some gorgeous low lights. 🙂

Then I cut out pieces to draw in the eyes, nose, mouth, and fabulous chin. This was a fun way to test my grasp of facial proportions- not sure I totally nailed it, but I like that it looks graphic and stylized.

paper project

Paper Drawing 4

For this one, I wanted to simply cut out a bunch of little lines and play with them on the paper. I wound up with a couple of tribal eye thingies, and boy is it fun to use super crazy bright neon colors, you know?

colored paper collages

My big takeaway with this project was not that it is fun to draw with paper (although it is), but I realized I like Elmer’s purple glue sticks over the Uhu glue sticks I’ve been using on my paper crafts forever.

I started using the Uhu sticks in college, and stuck with them because they are non-toxic, and acid-free, thereby making them archival. But then I grabbed an Elmer’s stick and used it, and it ended up being less messy than the Uhu sticks. Lo and behold, when I looked them up, they’re listed as acid-free. Go figure.

Purple glue FTW.

Aaaaaand I bet you can’t get enough of colored paper now, so have a look at this easy Notan project.

Paper collage craft Paper collage craft

Paper collage craft



2 thoughts on “How to Use Colored Paper as Your Drawing Tool”

Leave a Comment