View Full Version : AS Colorfix dark colors. Good for?

04-05-2014, 01:44 AM
When looking to try out different brands and types of paper, I purchased the 2 AS Colorfix assortment packs, described as cool and warm collections in 9x12. Both contain some very dark colors that I cannot seem to find a use for. Anyone here use these dark papers? If so for what subjects?

04-05-2014, 07:06 AM
I'm new to pastel too and also bought some of that dark paper. I used some of it by putting a lighter pastel and rubbing all over the sheet with a foam brush. Now I had a much lighter surface to work on. I used it for practice work. Good luck.

04-05-2014, 08:54 AM
For me, the dark papers provide a great opportunity to do pictures which are highly colourful and contrasty. rich Darks are obviously easier to achieve, and the lights in a picture will stand out wonderfully against the dark ground. This applies to just about any subject, I have used them for some strongly coloured still life images, with lots of black, red and white in them, and also have just completed an outdoor market scene, using black paper, it looks very contrasty with lots of sunlight and shadows.
forgive the poor photo, taken with an iPhone - . But you can see how the dark paper has helped the picture to sparkle. you can see hints of the darkness of the paper thro the pastel used for the buildings, but where I have used the very lightest tones, I have pressed harder to eliminate the black paper more.


just one thing........ I used soft pastels throughout. You will not get this kind of richness of tone and colour using pastel pencils, they simply do not put enough pigment down onto the surface.

04-05-2014, 09:50 AM
Very rich, beautiful.

04-05-2014, 01:27 PM
Jackie -- you should also post this spectacular painting in the viewing gallery. I can't stop staring at it, and it's your iPhone version . . . .

I'm glad you used it here to show how to use dark paper, something I haven't really figured out, either. But your piece also holds lessons for us on composition, handling high-contrast light and shade, and strikingly minimalist figure painting. What is that young woman gazing at her feet worrying about in such a beautiful setting, and will she look up in time to admire the vendor's flowers, as he so obviously hopes?!

Best, Evelyn

04-05-2014, 02:04 PM
I am also new to pastel (having done oil for many years before taking a break), but I love the dark papers. Perhaps it's because my preferences lean toward moody and atmospheric. The only reason I even wanted to use light paper for anything were because I wanted to try underpainting.

Jackie, what an amazing painting! The dark paper gives it a different feel than any of your other paintings I have seen. Very instructive, thank you.

I recently watched a film on Artist's Network TV by Liz Haywood-Sullivan which contrasts different pastel grounds. In it, she does the exact same painting on both a black and a white surface so that you can see the difference. It was a very worthwhile experience.

04-05-2014, 09:14 PM
To me best are hues which dont have too much color like Farbiano Tiziano
Banana but unlike Avorio (Ivory) in same procut. i know this is not common paper here but one nicely priced products which i still rate very good not maybe for pastels but in generaly. btw i like darks,and lights ,and almost gray type hues.

04-06-2014, 01:09 AM
saskia sounds like that demo on both black and white paper could answer everyone's questions about the differences.

04-06-2014, 01:37 AM
Jackie- Yes, it was a wonderful demo. Liz is such a fantastic teacher! If anyone wants to take a look, here's the link:


04-06-2014, 08:41 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Apr-2014/60863-image.jpg this was done on dark blue Colorfix .
"Moulin Rouge "

04-07-2014, 01:29 AM
Thank you everyone for your feedback and especially for the works by Jackie and sansea. They certainly showed that those dark papers can make terrific surfaces.

04-11-2014, 04:55 AM
They do. The first time I painted on black I was just awed by how bright the lights look on it. You get more contrast and I always liked contrast heavy paintings, they make the light within the painting look so rich. Flecks of black or dark showing through are less distracting to me than flecks of white in dark areas. My favorite AS Colourfix paper color is Aubergine, the dusty deep dark violet-gray is beautiful for scenery. Violet is a friend to greens, so using Aubergine in a landscape gives the light sky colors brightness and the greens get balanced in their shadows almost automatically.

But all surface colors are useful. They just behave differently and work well for different subjects. The reddish rust color is also great for landscapes and mutes the greens well while making them sparkle. It can rock if you're doing scenery in a place where the mud and rocks are red.

Enjoy the rainbow pack. I used every color in mine and keep getting it like that because I find different subjects and palettes work best on each of its colors, the one I used last was actually the white.

04-14-2014, 09:41 AM
I love using dark coloured paper, the darker the better, like the storm blue, and the terracotta and Indian red, burgundy ... And black of course! They make your colours jump off the paper at you!

Sarah Rose
04-15-2014, 12:54 PM
I love the black Colourfix Suede, it would be great if Pastelmat came in black. I have mostly done horses on the Colourfix. This one is one of my favorites so far:


04-22-2014, 06:42 PM
SarahRose, thank you for sharing your painting on black CF. Love it! I guess I need to give those darks another chance.

Robert, I always appreciate your posts and respect your opinions. Thanks for joining in.

04-22-2014, 10:09 PM
I have piddled around off an on with pastel for...wow! Fourteen years now. I only just got serious with them this past November.

I had only ever used light colors, but now, the darker I'm going, the more I like it.

I'm a sucker for colors, and as was stated before, the darker the paper, the brighter the colors! :-D