View Full Version : Help with toning Wallis Paper

09-13-2003, 11:38 PM
Hi there,
I've recently invested in Wallis paper and really want to tone the paper before I put pastel to surface. What do you recommend?

I've heard alcohol preps....



But I've never heard the specific recipes and/or best solution....

I'm also worried about the curve of the paper as it has come from a roll.

Any tips on flattening it out quickly?


Deborah Secor
09-14-2003, 12:47 AM
Barb, if it's the Museum grade paper it will flatten out pretty quickly. The Pro grade takes a bit more time and sometimes it's best to spray it with a light mist of water on the front and back and let it dry completely. You can stretch it like watercolor paper if you want to, although I find in my dry part of the world I don't need to...

As to toning it, I have a very simple solution. I just tape my paper down all the way around, lay the board flat on a table, put down a couple of light layers of pastel using the flat side (using the less expensive brands like Nu-Pastel when I can). Then I use a foam house painting brush to rub the dickens out of it in all directions, just scrubbing like crazy, until there's color embedded in the surface. When I set it upright I use a clean paper towel to remove any excess pastel, then go on and paint on it. I can have any color I want this way! No drying time, no color shift, no buckling.

Then you can wipe away any part that you don't like and repaint it. When you wipe it out--using the foam brush--the paper returns to somehwhat near the base color again, only grayer, depending on the color you used. I can correct offending parts or wipe the whole thing out and start over. I have pieces of paper that have had five and six paintings wiped off (mostly because I do demonstrations and don't routinely keep those paintings.)

I use this technique all the time. Give it a try and see if you like it too.


09-14-2003, 09:21 AM
I love my Wallis! I have the grey one and don't actually tone the whole paper. I do a quick sort of underpainting with complementary colors but you could do an all over single color (or colors). I have used light acrylic wash, just really watered down acrylic. Lately I use pastel, usually Rembrandt and then go over it with a brush, about 1" or so, with either turpenoid or alcohol. It just takes a few minutes.
I start by taping the whole paper to my board and have not had any problems. Sometimes it seems to buckle a bit when I wet it but once it dries it is fine.
I think if you want one all over tone then Deborah's method sounds pretty simple...just do it! :D
The paper is great and takes a lot of abuse so you can experiment and see what you like.
Have fun with it!


09-14-2003, 04:27 PM
Deborah, thanks so very much for including such great detail and hints. I've got the Museum grade paper and still am battling with the curve of the paper - I'm working in small sheets so that's perhaps why.

Can't wait to tone it now.

Sandy - thanks as well. I like your method of application of color as well.

A friend of mine told me about applying acrylic to the page so you can just hose off the piece if you don't like how it came out.

Have either of you tried that?


Deborah Secor
09-14-2003, 04:52 PM
You don't have to use the acrylic to hose it, though I suppose you could return to the underpainting that way. I've put them in the bathtub and scrub them off. The colorful bathtub ring is rather interesting! LOL (It comes right off, and in winter it's the only way to go.) I haven't found anything that hurt this paper except for:
scratching it with a chunk of rocky pastel, putting a deep ding in it where it gets bent, and Kitty tells me that frisket will remove the surface. Other than that it takes repeated layers, washing and drying, paint of any kind--even oils--and just keeps on.

I derived the foam brush technique when I didn't want to deal with wet paper, which I'm not an expert in handling. Kitty sends a page describing how to stretch the paper using a method that is very involved. (I'm just not that process oriented anymore!) If you need to see that I may be able to take a photo of it and post it here. Let me know.


09-14-2003, 09:21 PM
nothing to offer...just interested...you say oils, Deborah...are we talking Wallis sanded???

Deborah Secor
09-14-2003, 09:53 PM
Oh yes, definitely oils! I saw a demo at one of the conventions where the artist (can't think who it was...) used oils as a first layer, then let it dry and went in with pastels. The oils were diluted so as not to fill the grain, not put on with a knife or anything, and it worked beautifully. Wish I knew more than this but... brain strain.

09-15-2003, 12:18 AM
Thanks everyone for sharing this info ..... VERY INTERESTING

:D roni/butterfly

09-15-2003, 10:14 AM
I've never tried Wallis paper, but this has definitely got me interested! Thanks for all the info!


09-15-2003, 12:04 PM
wow - this is most helpful. I'm going to take on a few other projects today but hope to tone that paper and provide feedback to everyone once I've given it a try.

Deborah - love the idea of oil too but I too would worry it would fill up too much of the truth.

Thank goodness Kitty did her research on this product!