I love practicing and working out my ideas on a piece of kraft paper - I have a big roll in my studio and I probably use it everyday. I also like to repurpose my grocery bags as well - yes, I am completely guilty of forgetting my shopping bags when I go to the grocery store.
I thought it would be fun to share a step by step of one way that I like to use a brown paper bag as an alternative substrate for creating. This is a great way to practice sketching, composition, color and mixing up art supplies on free paper! If you have kids, have them be your "gesso assistant" my daughter loves this job and often ends up sitting with me and creating - which is a beautiful thing!
Brown Paper Bag or a roll kraft paper, white or black gesso, pastels in the color palette of your choice (I combine Sennelier soft pastels and Sennelier oil pastels to create a chunky texture) charcoal pencil and a palette knife. If you don't use pastels you can substitute with acrylic paints, watercolor or inks.
I cut a 9 x 12 rectangle out of the bag and then taped it down to my work table. Next, I added an even coat of white gesso.