View Full Version : Canson Mi-Teintes: which side and why?

11-11-2003, 11:49 AM

A lot of us use Canson Mi-Teinte and I wondered what was the favorite face and the reasons for using one or the other.

When I started pastels, I din't like the rough side - most probably because I didn't put enough pastel -, but it became my favorite. I like the opportunity of seing the background under the pastels. Maybe the regular structure reminds me of canvas too.


11-11-2003, 12:04 PM
Let's see if I remember it right:

"I do not like Canson ground.
I do not like it-
it makes me frown.
There's all these little holes, you see;
filling them in is killing me.
No- I do not like Canson ground-
I wonder if I've some vellum around?"

I've messed about with the smooth side of Canson, sanding it lightly first to get rid of that slickery thing that sends your pastels skidding across one and other like a mime on ice, and it works as long as the painting is not supposed to be perfectly detailed; seems raising the nap by sanding leaves a kind of "fuzzy" look to what should be hard lines.

I've got to say Senneliers new pastel carte is pretty darned good- your pastel goes where you put it, stays where you put it, and blends remarkably well AT THE SAME TIME! The downside is, even a small painting yields enough wasted dust to make nearly a half-stick of dark gray-shading to whatever hue. Not to mention at nearly $5.00 a pop, it isn't a surface you "try something on".

Schoellershammer Translucent Vellum- I'm telling you- give it a try. Good stuff- takes layers and layers, brushes off easily without too much smearing, and erases clean. Plus- it's inexpensive....

11-11-2003, 01:05 PM
I wanted to vote twice :D ..... I no longer like working on Canson.... but when I did, and if I have to, its always on the rough side .... I feel it holds more pastel....... the smooth side, Im convinced lol, will just fall off :) ..... I much prefer working on textured papers now..... saves alot of work and layering

11-11-2003, 01:36 PM
Since being a beginner is so much fun....I usually pulled the paper out and didn't even realize till I was into the painting

Now I use the rough side for certain things and the smooth side for others

I am dying to try Wallis or Art Spectrum but afraid to spend the money

What Ia m thinking of doing is using paper and coating with gesso/pumice/something or other to add texture and trying that next

Kathryn Wilson
11-11-2003, 02:21 PM
Whoever makes Canson had better get with the program - I have used my last piece for anything serious. I will probably use up the stock I have for sketching, but that is all it is good for IMHO.

I wouldn't even recommend it for a beginner - how frustrating to start out on something that is inferior only to get inferior results. No wonder people quit before they get started.

I know this sounds harsh, but I wish I had started out with better paper.

11-11-2003, 04:51 PM
I have used both sides of the Canson paper. I do prefer the smoother side. I do like the way I can get more detail. I have purchased Wallis and have not tried it yet. Would also like to give Art Spectrum a try in the near future. In the past I have used Cold Press Watercolor paper and did like that also. I have lots of Canson and Watercolor paper around so........being frugal..I will use it up slowly.......LOL


11-11-2003, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by pampe
Since being a beginner is so much fun....I usually pulled the paper out and didn't even realize till I was into the painting
Now I use the rough side for certain things and the smooth side for others
I am dying to try Wallis or Art Spectrum but afraid to spend the money
What Ia m thinking of doing is using paper and coating with gesso/pumice/something or other to add texture and trying that next

All of the above! :D
Actually, I've been coating my Canson, and watercolor paper, with pumice gel lately, and like it, with both kinds of pastels.

Stoy Jones
11-12-2003, 12:10 AM
Lol!..SBJ! Very funny! Interesting post so far. I like Canson only because (like a beginner) I have no experience on other paper yet and I'm sure once I try something else, I won't go back!

I found Canson to have defects in the paper like a crease that is invisible until you work over it and the whole thing becomes obvious. This doesn't set well with me, so I have to look over a new sheet everytime I buy. I prefer the smooth side. I also prefer a different tooth than all those holes if I want texture. I really enjoy working on brown mailing wrap most, but won't always use it, because it isn't archival and I won't always need "brown" paper if I need a different color.


11-12-2003, 03:37 AM
I only use Canson for works that I don't intend to spend much time on and the thicker pastel cards can take a lot more layering, erasing, well, more beating.
I once used the rough side and did not like the kitchen-role texture at all. So, I only use the smooth side.
It is good paper though......especially for those who don't need a super strong card.

Deborah Secor
11-12-2003, 11:46 AM
With the energy and looseness I like to use in the early stages of my work, Canson just cannot hold up. I need a paper with tooth, tooth and more tooth.

I started with Canson 20 years ago and almost gave up pastels from frustration. Thankfully I met Handell, who made us use sandpaper--and the rest is history.

I could never figure out which side I liked better on Canson because the rough side had all that odd texture tht I hated for my work, but the smooth side held even less pastel!

I have to say that some of the artists whose work I admire use that stuff, and I just cannot figure out how they do it! Check out Fred Somers work, all on Canson I think. He won a big prize last year in the PJ100 and I interviewed him. Great work, many, many layers. Amazing...
http://www.fredericksomers.com (http://)


11-12-2003, 12:04 PM
I'm for canson
I use the right side, mostly
one of the reasons I like canson

11-12-2003, 12:55 PM
Thanks all for your answers...

SweetBabyJ, Nice poem. I bougth Sennelier La Carte but I didn't try it yet...

Dark_Shades, Sorry, I should have put a "Not any more" answer...

pampe, I understand you... when I feel better skilled, I will dare using more expensive paper...

kyle, I don't think Arjo Wiggings is in big trouble (their name make me thinks of Largo Winch - famous Bande Dessinée = comic printed on glossy paper as a book), but thanks for your answer...

ctmobitz and sundiver, let's see who will be first between you, pampe and me to go to more expensive paper...

Stoy Jones: brown mailing paper is probably the cheapest paper, I don't know if any archival paper can give you the same impression

soap: Nothing to do with Canson but I forgot to thank you for your architectural work, it inspired me a lot... would never have considered putting red/pink in stones without seing your work.

Deborah, thanks or the link... so there are not only beginners who use Canson... I especially like the snow landscapes and the leaves from Fred Somers.

Dan, that's an amazing story... well I live in France and Canson is probably the most widespread brand... Mi-Teintes sheet can be bougth in supermarkets (at least the 24x32 cm / 9 1/2 x 12 1/2)....


11-12-2003, 01:49 PM
thanks for the lovely compliment, Anney. I am happy somebody is enjoying my buildings.

11-12-2003, 04:52 PM
I use Canson smooth side. Why? because it's almost the only paper I can get around here, although just recently I have found some Unison paper but it only comes in white. I haven't tried it yet but I will soon. I can also get Schminke paper but I find it too rough, (I like to use my fingers to blend, it takes the skin off). I find the rough side of canson too hard to cover with soft pastels, although it does seem to work better with oils.

11-20-2003, 09:16 PM
Smooth side is my favorite, but I have used the rough side and with some subjects, I prefer the rough side.

I think the smooth side takes more pastel and you can cover it better. Trying to get the pastel into the tiny waffles is a pain...lol! I always over blended when I wanted to do that.

11-21-2003, 12:59 AM
I started out using Canson (and still use it at times. The pads are really great for sketching), but I've come to love large sheets of Fabriano Tiziano. So many beautiful colors, a rather nice tooth, and a texture I just love.

11-21-2003, 04:12 AM
Well I LIKE the canson paper - I like the smooth side for using pastel pencil paintings of dogs.
I used the rough side at the beginning of my pastelling (my first threads) and someone told me it gave an 'orange peel' effect.
I mainly use the Art Spectrum colourfix paper now because it is cheap here - $NZ6.90 a sheet. I painted Molly with pastel pencils on the AS paper, whereas I painted my first dog on the smooth side of the canson... which is $NZ4 (multiply the prices by .6 to give you an idea of comparison of costs) - how much does it cost in the US?
I am back using the canson for my next dog and it feels much better for my style.
I never thought about checking it for defects though Stoy - good point.
In my 'stash' I have a large piece of some kind of fine textured card which is for pastels, but at $NZ15, it would have to be something really special for me to paint - it would have been perfect for my "Nic" painting - the colour is the same as our wall.
So in all my gabble - IMHO I think Canson is good for hard pastels, conte sticks and pastel pencils, whereas the more textured papers take both hard and soft.
My art tutor says that for realism paintings you polish your gesso panels smooth - I wonder if the same principle would be the same for pastel?
Actually, I managed to get Jackie's book out of the library - I must read what she says.

11-21-2003, 07:04 AM
I use Canson - smooth side - about 75% of the time. Wallis, Art Spectrum and others for the other 25%. And I truly like working on the Canson! But, I also like working on Wallis and Art Spectrum.

Canson is what I teach my students to paint on. It really doesn't matter whether the smooth or the rough side. Though the rough side is a good texture for some paintings. And I have used it!

Canson makes you think before applying pastel to the paper -- you know that you only have several layers of pastel that will apply to the paper unless you use workable fixative spray in between layers. It also does not use up your pastel sticks quite as fast as the sanded papers.

Someone said they could not get any detail on the Canson. Well, have a look at a painting on Canson and tell me you cannot get detail!

Canson is a wonderful paper and useful in many ways. As are all the others, too!

11-21-2003, 02:50 PM
Marsha, whose beautiful painting is that?

Jamie (a Canson smooth and LaCarte lover. :) )

11-22-2003, 12:56 AM
I would like to put in my vote for la carte, I love it. I did one picture that I really liked on Canson and now I have a stack of it that I am not going to use so if anyone wants it let me know. I am hooked on la carte.


Deborah Secor
11-22-2003, 01:20 PM
Maggie Muchmore, a wonderful pastelist from Santa Fe, told me that she used Canson, "because I like the fight." ROFL!! That's how I feel about it, but I don't enjoy the fight, I guess. Everyone is different, thank God, so there are different papers for different needs--whether you enjoy the fight or not!

Helen Zapata
11-22-2003, 02:03 PM
I like the rough side. I like surprises. :D

I like using watercolor paper.

I like using sandpaper.

But my favorite is using mat board. Yummmm.


11-23-2003, 09:12 AM
Just wandering back in to the forum again--and found some food for thought!

I'm a really rank beginner, and was wondering if my attempts at more than sketching were all my own fault (lack of experience) or if my materials were the problem. I've been using Canson because it's what I've got.

With all of the feedback on this thread, I think I'm going to have to try a new support. Maybe something else will give me the results I want.

Thanks to everyone for their comments!


11-23-2003, 10:50 AM
Peg, I use the Canson in open studio, or when I know that for whatever reason, I won't be laying down lots of layers anyway. In open studio, the time constraints alone prevent me from putting lots of layers in, so there's no point to me using an expensive support material!


10-05-2006, 02:33 PM
Can't abide the stuff, and only use it when I'm desperate:lol: , like forgot to order paper!!!
I hate having to teach with it also, but I have to sometimes, as it is the most readily available, and maybe that's why I hate it:evil: Trying to teach a layering technique on it is the pits:eek: :lol:
I don't like the waffles, and , like others, just don't like the fight...

CM Neidhofer
10-05-2006, 04:04 PM
I still use Canson on a rare occasion, especially if it's for a subject I'm not sure I can accomplish. So it's basically just a practice paper for me now. But considering I started out with Strathmore pastel paper, even the Canson isn't so bad in a pinch! I prefer Wallis or Colourfix now, or the Pastelbords.


10-05-2006, 11:02 PM
Interesting to see this argument existed even before I began pasteling about 18 months ago. :)

I voted for Canson smooth side. My fave is actually Art Spectrum, which I totally adore - but it does not come in a convenient size, and Canson does. So I actually use Canson quite a lot. I use it all the time in my art classes. But I cannot abide the rough side as I'm one of those who HATES for even the teeniest little bit of the background support to show through the painting. And with Canson rough side it's just about impossible to fill up that "orange peel"

10-06-2006, 03:04 AM
I like the smooth side of Canson. I have been using it for about two years. Recently I started using Wallis and have done about six large pictures on Wallis and maybe five or six on La Carte. I like them both. For fun, two days ago I decided to go back to the smooth side of Canson to see how I would like it. To my delight I find I still like it! Certainly the three papers have different feels to them but it is kinda fun to go back and forth and see how to make one's drawing and blending skills work on the different surfaces.

10-06-2006, 02:29 PM
Smooth side, definitely. It's my paper of choice for animal paintings. I also like Colourfix and Wallis for other subjects, but I wouldn't want to use those for the way I do fur.

Katherine T
10-09-2006, 01:24 PM
Canson smooth side - the chicken wire side is a total switch-off for me. But then I'm also someone who likes doing pastel on abrasive supports and CP on papers which have a bit of tooth but have no overall design built in to the paper - I don't like laid papers such as Ingres and I don't like the Canson chicken-wire

Dot Hoffman
10-12-2006, 10:05 AM
What interesting discussion. The instructor in my first pastel class, and actually another instructor in a later pastel class as well, said to use Canson, but I really don't like it at all! Like so many others here, the "rough" side really turns me off and the smooth side doesn't hold enough. I like Wallis and ColorFix the best, but usually buy ColorFix because of the price. I don't mind that the sanded papers "eat" my pastels; better that than not being able to put down any more pastel because there is no tooth. I do mostly landscapes and still lifes, so I need to be able to layer.

10-17-2006, 07:01 AM
I use Canson, smooth side only, in dark shades. I can get many layers by using a light spray between the layers. I have tried pastel board but have had trouble with pastel coming off onto the mount, and it's too expensive. Wallis is awful for me - I tried all sorts of ways to cover the horrible white and none of them were successful - though the darker coloured Wallis might work better,

Donna A
11-03-2006, 03:39 AM
I never liked that "official" front side of the Canson with that mechanical pattern that makes me think that someone forgot to put all the manhole covers back on. :-)

What surprised me soooo much eventually was finding that Canson papers fade, the darker, usually the more fading. I had several sheets stored on flat, open-ended shelf with about 4" of vertical clearance. The papers ended up laying there in the shade of the shelves, perhaps 4" back from the front edge of the shelf so NO sun could possibly get to it---yet the Canson papers faded. I took the navy Canson and another dark and medium or two to our next MidAmerica Pastel Society meeting. One of our members, marvelous painter and human, John Roush, was then using Canson always for his gorgeous small pastels---and was concernedl He had a number of different colors and quite a stock of it. He cut sections of different Canson colors---pieces wider than a large index card and as high, and mounted them on foam core board, then covered half of each color with very opaque black paper and hung this fade test in a south window at that Autumn time. After less than two months, he took down the test strips to check them----and he was so surprised that such a clear difference between the protected areas and the uncovered areas had happened in such a short time (for color fade tests) particularly when going into Winter when the periods of sunlight were considerably shorter each day.

John brought the test panel to the MAPS meeting and showed everyone the fading. He told us that he was going to stop using Canson, and would use up the rest of that paper as back covers for his framed paintings (where the light could not get to the paper.) He gave me the test panel and I've looked at it several times over the last several years. Pretty amazing. Some of you who use Canson regularly might like to make a test chart for yourself. Hanging the test in a south window speeds up the process to let you know what could happen over several years.

Another MAPS member, and long-time professional who lives two states away was on the phone with me one day and we were talking about this issue. She said she used the darker colored Cansons---but it didn't matter because she covered it up completely with her pastels. When she came to town the next week, I got to see a number of her very large and lovely paintings. I immediately named the color of each paper she was using. She could not imagine how I could "guess." Geee----paper showing through alllll over the place----and each painting was carefully keyed to the color of the paper. That rich, deep burgundy was going to fade to a lighter, grayish mauve. She moved on to Colourfix when she saw the test panel John had done.

Another friend and fun, great human, Terry Ludwig, whom most of you all must know or know of, loves his canson, but he does indeed rub a whole layer of his lovely soft pastels all over the paper as a base for his painting---and I do believe that protects the color integrity of the paper pretty well. But he really, really rubs a good layer of pastel allllll over the paper surface!

Light colors are already light, so they are not going to fade. Just something good to be aware of.

I had used some Canson early on in my pastel painting in the early 80's, but having had a very active printmaking studio creating mostly large etching landscapes, I had sooo much wonderful rag paper on hand, some of it in mellow colors, so I tended to use that the most and usually did pastels which were 28"x40" or 33"x 44" and such, depending on the size of the rag paper. And eventually other options became available--including archival sanded papers by Wallis and Art Spectrum Colourfix, the latter being my most favorite.

We all do need to experiment to see what really fits with our expression, our style of painting. And it is really good to know any shortcomings of our materials so that we can take that into account. Take good care! Donna ;-}

11-04-2006, 02:14 PM
To me, Canson is a good student grade paper, but I don't personally use it for any of my work. Many students I have are very new to pastels, and tend to not want to invest too much money initially into their supplies. Therefore, a set of Faber Castell Goldfaber pastels and a couple sheets of Canson paper (one warm and one cool gray) is enough to get them started. However, after the first couple weeks, almost all of them are "hooked", and they quickly move on to buying better and more pastels and Colourfix paper! I'm very upfront with them in that I tell them that the Canson papers will fade as will student grade pastels, but at this point they are students learning about the medium. When they ask if they can use hair spray as a fixative, I tell them something similar: hair spray will destroy your paper, but it is up to them to decide if they want to use it. In the instance of fixative, I do however encourage them to use "real" fixatives that don't darken the pastels, and they usually go along with that once they see the difference that I illustrate. They do use all of their Canson paper, but learn to layer by spraying often with Las Caux workable or Grumbacher final fixative - some even prefer it.

There was one time I had to use Canson for a demonstration. I'd been asked to drive to Portland (Oregon) to demonstrate Sennelier pastels on Le Carte paper for the grand opening of an art supply store. I was told all supplies would be there for me so not to bring any of my own. Well, the paper hadn't arrived, and the only pastel paper they had was Canson - I had to spend 6 hours working on Canson paper with the soft Sennelier pastels! The only saving grace was they did have Las Caux fixative, and before the end of the day I'd sold every can of Las Caux they had in stock with my demonstration!! People even came back to the store to watch my progress. That painting went on to be accepted into a major multi-medium competition in California, and then I sold it here in Washington. It was painted on red/orange, and you can see some of the red under the layers. I always hoped the fixative helped screen the paper color even thought it is framed under UV glass.

Red Earth


11-09-2006, 07:16 AM
I'd use either side so I voted both. The textured side is a different style and approach that is harder to learn but more interesting when mastered. Nothing wrong with Canson, as long as you understand it doesn't take alot of layers and not much abuse. You have to get it right the first time so the planning must be more careful. If your style is more deep layering and overpainting then you'll probably get into trouble with Canson. I think it's good for the beginner because it enforces disipline in the approach and it's inexpensive.

11-14-2006, 04:33 AM
I personally 'love' Canson, the smoothside is what I use all the time.
I am not a big fan of the rough side, although I have seen others who have produced great work with it.

Katherine T
11-15-2006, 03:54 AM
Thanks for the information about the lightfastness Donna. I've certainly noticed the darker shades fading dramatically.

I must confess even knowing that I'll probably still keep using the lighter shades for my coloured pencil work when I find white to be just too harsh as a colour to work on. As you say lighter shades are not going to fade so much.

11-23-2006, 09:47 PM
Hi! I don't post as often as I probably should. I am also new to pastels and love this site and the ability to learn through reading all of the discussions on the various topics dealing with pastels.

I have had a few art lessons, and never really realized that there is a "right side or a wrong side to any of the pastel papers I've used. Granted, to-date, I have only had experience with Canson and ArtSpectrum. To me, and this may actually indicate how "inexperienced" I really am -- I see value in all the various brands and types of pastel supports. I think its a personal choice, probably driven by the subject, and your technique as a pastelist.

Katherine T
11-24-2006, 08:06 AM
I was putting a link about Canson Mi Teintes Paper into one of my squidoo lenses (http://www.squidoo.com/groups/makingamark) this week and noticed that they were making a big thing about the Mi Teintes being light fast. I note that Dick Blick is also characterising Mi-Teintes as lightfast (http://www.dickblick.com/zz107/10/)

Maybe what we're seeing is batches of old paper being used up - either by us or in art suppliers?

If they have made it lightfast I wonder how you're supposed to know?

Howard - do you have any answers?

12-06-2006, 08:09 PM
I placed my vote on "can't stand the stuff" The pebbled side frustrates me no end and the smooth side just won't take enough layers for me. Ihave tons of the stuff too, but think I can use the smooth side for drawings and colored pencil. I love the textured or sanded papers. Dianna Ponting introduced me to La Carte and I think I will be using it more now.

12-27-2006, 02:22 AM
I find the smooth side to be preferable by far, although since DF Gray likes the rough side, and gets such marvelous results, it does tempt me to use the rough side sometimes, especially when you want the ground to influence the whole painting. The lightfastness issue is very distressing though!

I like to use canson for figure drawing and sketches, but I don't think I'd use it for a large piece that I was planning on selling. Having the strong background colors are terrific in figure drawing, I have one on a muted purple ("twilight" I think) and using just a lightish white, black and burnt sienna contes I got a nice range of values. But with the fading issue, it would be difficult to frame properly.

My preferred paper is Wallis with various tinted backgrounds using Createx airbrush colors to tint the background in advance. I like colorfix, but haven't ordered any lately, and Sennellier LaCarte is good too, just don't use any water on it!

My biggest disapointments have been watercolor paper (not enough tooth and too white!!!) and Hannemuhle paper (bland colors and a funny pattern plus expensive!)

12-27-2006, 11:07 AM
I used Canson for many years as a beginner. But with my multi-layering style and heavy hand, the Canson was frustrating. I was very happy when I discovered Windberg (not sure if still sold - made in Canada, I believe) sanded paper. Then I discovered LaCarte and later Kitty Wallis created her fabulous paper. An artist friend of mine, Fred Somers (referenced earlier in this thread), has used Canson for decades. His style is very direct with small amounts of pastel. Currently, he even uses sandpaper to sand the surface (back side) of Canson paper. The mechanical side of Canson is very annoying. I still have some Canson around the house but use it for craft projects instead. Current pastel artists should be very pleased with the variety of art supplies for pastel artists (paper and brands of pastels). The supplies make creating art more of a pleasure instead of a frustration.

Bill Foehringer
12-28-2006, 03:18 PM
I don't use it any more. I prefer Wallis paper. I can tint it any way I want so the white museum grade is not a problem. My next step might be to make my own sanded panels.

04-10-2007, 04:23 PM
I don't know how anyone could not like Canson paper...it was just made for pastels of all sorts!!!

04-13-2007, 07:00 AM
Hmmm, this is very interesting. I first started out using cheap pastel paper books in various shades, and cheap pastels - what a waste and an eye opener! A gave them to my local kids art group for practice.
I bought a set of Winsor & Newton pastels - what a difference, and especially so when I upgraded to Canson Mi. I thought I was working with Rolls Royce style equipment. Now though I feel as if I'm missing out on something with the lack of support for Canson I've read on here so far.
Has anyone got any helpful suggestions for a good, fair priced paper in England? No doubt I will have to get it by mail, so the weight of paper will be a consideration when purchasing.
All help as usualy, gratefully received.

Di Court
04-14-2007, 11:23 AM
G'day. I 'll put in my two cents worth. I REALLY don't like Canson Mi-Teinte!! Its flimsy paper and doesn't hold enough chalk. The honeycombs drive me nuts and the smooth side holds even less.

I have to confess tho - I'm JEALOUS!! This thread is naming all these papers I haven't even heard about. In Perth (West Oz) we have one main chain of art stores, and you buy what they stock and that's it. There are a couple of independents, but that's not as helpful as we would like. So if you don't like Canson, you've got Colourfix (which I like), or you can paint your own fixer onto mat board (I did a terrible job) or you can order vellum (through this almost monopoly) from (you guessed it!) America!

07-24-2007, 03:04 PM
I have to weigh in on this one...

I love Canson paper, particularly the vellum side. I have tried Wallis paper, Colorfix, La Carte (which I disliked the most), Sansfix, and Pastelboard. I hated all of them - I just could not work with them at all. I even gave Wallis several tries (as everyone raves about it), and just simply can't work with it. Are there any pastel artists out there that just simply don't care for sanded surfaces besides myself? Probably not. I guess it's just a lonely world out there for those of us who enjoy Canson...:)

Andi Rebirth
10-01-2007, 08:41 PM
I use it exclusively, I do ad sanded supports if that is what I need in the painting. So, you are not alone. I didn't know that Tery Ludwig covers his canson before painting with pastel, funny, that is what I do. I usually lay in my colors completely with pastel and then I start to paint.
Like sky, whatever I the value, land or water, whatever the value.
I just started doing this, as I wasn't getting the results I wanted with the previous approach.
So you are not alone.

10-22-2007, 12:07 AM
Love the smooth side...my favorite paper!

10-22-2007, 08:22 AM
Hi it's funny this thread popped up again.....I never voted before and....
its looks as though I'm in the way minority...i like the rough side:D

I like it the most doing portraits, not landscapes.... I don't use alot of pastel so that maybe part of it.....I used to a long long long time ago paint with watercolor so i have a good idea what and where I'm going to paint. So i don't have many layers on my surface. I do use my kneaded eraser shaped into a tool to move small amounts around that may distract, but not alot. :)

10-22-2007, 02:03 PM
I like the soft side of the Canson for subjects I want detailed. I use watercolor paper with Pumice gel for other things because I can tone it whatever color I choose. I never have trouble getting the softside of the Canson to hold enough pigment.

10-29-2007, 07:44 PM
I just want to say that I, today, went back to Canson because I, when I am trying to paint on the expensive sanded papers, tighten up. This paper is so expensive that I MUST make this count. Using the Canson is an experiment of sorts. I am only a couple hours into it and thus far I feel by far freer. But then again, I am used to adding many, many layers which I know will not happen with the Canson. This could be good. Then again it may be bad...Um-m-m-m-m...


11-15-2008, 08:50 PM
I recently started using Colourfix, and I love it. It's become my favorite. But for sketching or light applications, and often for doing my miniatures, Canson is still good.

I used it for years and years when I was a street artist, and liked its color range. I always used the smooth side because I hated that woven texture. I also worked loose and learned to layer with a light touch to get enough layers in on it. I can usually get enough to get the detail I want.

11-16-2008, 12:21 AM
Wow - interesting thread!

I started on Mi-teintes smooth side (it was what my drawing teacher used). I liked it, and still do - I like detail and I have no problem with the canson (in some ways easier than grittier papers)...


When I came to WC I thought 'eep, I'm using crap!' so I got some Wallis - which I really like as well - I find working on the two papers very different. Doing fur is possible in both, and fine detail is possible in both, but I achieve the effects in different ways. Since I'm just learning I absolutely love what the different papers are teaching me! (I've got some colourfix and lacarte coming with my next Blick's order to try those out).

The lightfastness is concerning - and reading that reminded me that I did a painting on an old leftover piece of Mi-teines black. Here's a detail...


See the difference between the 'black' paper, and the black pastel on his muzzle? Some of that is dusting from the white (I'm messy, meh), but now I wonder if some of that was just fading? I'll have to watch this one! In this case dark gray worked better than pure black (maybe, at least it wasn't a problem) but I never considered that it was the fault of the paper! I have several more pastel-on-black paintings that I plan to do - perhaps I'll steer away from canson for those :(.

~~ Boots ~~

11-16-2008, 12:57 AM
:clap: I must say that I am a beginner, and have used many papers to experiment and feel, and just to learn on. I have been painting with pastel for about 1 1/2 years now, and this year pretty seriously now, as I have fallen in love with it!!!! I like Canson!!!! I have used both sides, the rough textured side accidently but I went with it for the experiance. I cam e up with this!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Nov-2008/128302-email_size_cat.jpg And haven't used the rough side since. Greg Albert gave this one a critque and I was in heavan! Then just recently I entered one I did on the smooth side of Canson, brite red in fact in our local Carson Valley Artist Ass. art show and won 2nd place with it!!!! Again, the only time I have used a red ground, and it was on Canson. Surprized? Yes, I'll say!!!!! So now I am hooked!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Nov-2008/128302-FINISHED_TAHOE.jpg I have been using all the different papers I can afford to buy, and I send for them from catalogs as I can't get to an Artstore at this time! And its been fun to feel all the surfaces there are to choose from. I love the suded matboards, too, and Sabretooth and Colorfix by art spectrum. Sorry I went on and on, but I LOVE THIS EXPERIANCES I am having with the pastels and I love WC! Thanks. some day I will go to a workshope, too!

11-16-2008, 09:00 AM
Soft side.
I use coloured pencils on it. The rough side is so hard to do nice work on.