View Full Version : Golden pastel ground

02-05-2014, 07:04 PM
Hello. I am having trouble getting a good surface using Golden pastel ground. It seems to buckle the paper more than AS ground (and the buckles remain after dry), it smells strongly of chemicals, doesn't seem to go on well (there are patches where it seems to have trouble adhering) and finally has an inconsistent tooth distribution. Has anyone else had an issue with this product? I am surprised to find it so different than the Art Spectrum ground which is fantastic. Regarding the buckling, could taping the paper down first somehow contribute to the buckling? Seems counter intuitive but I don't recall any buckling using the AS ground even taped down or otherwise. I am using 140 WC paper, which I have used many times before with the AS. Thanks all!

02-05-2014, 08:05 PM
I'm glad to hear this can happen. I'm used to using the AS ground and like it but meant o try the Golden ground sometime. Pretty frustrating from what you described. Are you supposed to stir or shake it before using? I know that I usually do with the AS ground.

02-07-2014, 02:17 PM
An update: The product is working a little better now. It needs to be put o very thinly. It seems to want to bond to itself instead of the paper otherwise, like there is some sort of surface tension that needs to be broken. I don't know why that is...

The jar says to thin up to 40% with water. It seems to me like they should remove "up to" because I found it only worked with around a 40% dilution. Too thick and it pulls toward itself (a little, but still noticeable), too thin and it is unevenly distributed. Also like the AS product if it is too thick it covers the tooth, which seems to sink to the bottom.

Regarding the buckling, this stuff seems to cause more of it. The best result I got was wetting and stretching watercolor paper before applying the ground. This provided the flattest surface.

It still has the chemical odor the AS does not have.

Thanks for the reply, Robert!

02-07-2014, 04:49 PM
Hi there!
The best pastel ground I've found is just clear gesso. I haven't tried the Golden, but it sounds like you've worked out the problem. But I think clear gesso is less expensive, and you can use pumice or aluminum oxide crystals in it to make it more abrasive. But it's the surface I keep going back to (working on Arches 140lb cold press).

Even the clear gesso will buckle paper if you have too much of it on. I tape the paper to a board and brush very, very thin layers (keeping it watered down, sometimes you need more layers, but let them dry thoroughly). So, I don't think taping contributes to the buckling. I also speed dry layers often with a hair dryer, and I think that reduces the buckling, as the medium doesn't really soak in but dries on the surface.

Maybe an adhesive backing for the paper first? Even if you use spray mount, paper will lift a bit when wet, but that might help?