View Full Version : Canson paper? new portrait.

07-24-2003, 02:38 PM
You might remember that I just started doing pastels last month,..I had a package of artspectrum paper, so that is what I started with...Well, I bought some Canson paper to give it a try,and don't know what I think about it. The pitts drove me NUTS, are you supposed to use the pitt side or the smooth side, or does it matter?

07-24-2003, 04:27 PM
nice pic, very lively.
i'm more comfortable using the smooth side. used the pitted side once with the same 'NUTS' results. i don't think i ever finished it.
i buy mine at pearl paints and they always put the price label on the pitted side if that's some type of sign? canson started mounting thier paper so it's rigid, which i think is a great idea but the colors are limited. i'm curious to know what side they use.
if you plan on doing portraits, you should invest in danielle greene's tapes on pastel portraits. i think dakotapastels has them on sale right now. good luck.

07-24-2003, 04:44 PM
Hi Maryeve.... what a beautiful portrait.... love your style of work....you can use either side of Cansons, although the textured side takes some filling, for portraits such as this I would think the smoother side would suit you better, it depends on the effects you wish to achieve... obviously the textured side will hold more pastels, but does have a mechanical look to it.


07-24-2003, 04:45 PM
I just rechecked my pad, I bought a pad of Canson paper to try the different colors, and they have the pitted side face up in the pad...So..based on that one would assume the pitted side is the front?..go figure. I'll be using the smooth side from now on.

07-24-2003, 04:53 PM
:clap: Maryeve, your painting is super. I love the color and expression you have captured!

I, too, inadvertently used the pitted side of Canson paper, but only once. I think for some types of painting one might want that but it grabs a lot of pastel and I greatly prefer the smooth.

07-24-2003, 06:37 PM
this is a lovely portrait! You really use very soft, gentle tones and it has a beautiful effect. Pitts are hard to fill even with OPs sometimes...but when I was doing soft pastels a too smooth paper didn't allow any layers to be built...it's a fine balance somewhere in between...you did a great job despite the pitfalls of the pitts!...:D

07-27-2003, 01:47 AM
Beautiful portrait. The skin colors are wonderful.


07-30-2003, 12:48 PM
beautiful skin tones :clap: ...... love the splash of colour for the clothing........
I use Canson on the more 'holey' side, just takes more working, but much prefer the textured sanded type papers now

....... a great job, and lovely portrait........ well done

07-30-2003, 12:55 PM
Maryeve - so soft and smooth despite the rough side - you've captured a beautiful expression here.

For someone so new to pastels you seem to have taken to it superbly. The colors you've blended are perfect and i love the smooth blending between the planes on the face - like below his eyes and across the chin. Well done!

As for the smooth -vs- rough sides of Canson - I've met few that use the rough side but it's sure noticable when you see pieces that are done that way. I always give them extra credit for that.

I remember one of our WC members telling us of a workshop they attended where they recommend taking fine, fine sandpaper to the smooth side of Canson sheets to build up even more tooth. It's a delicate process and although I haven't tried it myself, it's on my list of things to do.

Can I ask... in your technique... do you create a line drawing first or do you build up my massing in shapes and colors? I notice there's no other marks visible which still seem to be something I do a lot in measuring.


07-30-2003, 02:58 PM
line drawing just as reference points, careful not to press hard so as not to leave lines in the paper. Of course, within secs. it is basically covered up by the colors i have blocked in, but gets me started so that my proportions are right from the beginning.I just use a basic pencil for that. Maybe not the proper technique..but it works for me.

07-30-2003, 03:38 PM
Wow this a nice picture! As for the canson .......the holes get to most people! It's a case of trial and error for what surface you prefer.

07-30-2003, 08:16 PM
Thanks for including notes on your methods. I find that I'm too ambitious with my heavy, dark lines to map out the place to paint that it's hindering my work. I'll strive to do this more - especially after seeing your fine work. Thanks. Barb

07-30-2003, 09:24 PM
Great portrait He's a cutie. I use the smooth side. I can't seem to get enough pastels on to hide the bumps. *S*