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View Full Version : Wallis versus Art Spectrum


jackiesimmonds
03-10-2004, 02:38 AM
Hi Folks,

Is there someone here who can tell me the difference between Wallis paper, and Art Spectrum? How do they compare to each other?

Dark_Shades
03-10-2004, 03:09 AM
I use both ..... I think my personal preference leans more to Art Spectrum, for a number of reasons, Art Spectrum has numerous choices of colour, the card feels alot thicker and stronger. Wallis is like fine Sandpaper and get the feeling of it being softer to work on, Art Spectrum strikes me as being a bit more coarse, and a harder surface...... and it takes off skin if you blend with fingers :D

SweetBabyJ
03-10-2004, 10:53 AM
Just picked up some ArtSpectrum, matter of fact. Comparatively, the AS surface feels- not smooth- but finer, almost "softer", like the difference between, say the hand of velour and the hand of velvet. Wallis feels "sharp"- almost aggressively so (although not as unashamedly gritty at Sennelier's Carte). Both are on nice stiff stock, with, to me, the AS seeming just a tad lighter in weight. Dawn's right about Wallis feeling like sandpaper, though- it does. You know instinctively not to try to blend anything on it. On the otherhand, I do like that nice neutral shade Wallis has. Experiment and see.

Deborah Secor
03-10-2004, 11:31 AM
Let me add to what the others have said that if you tape down Art Spectrum you must very, very carefully remove the tape as the surface will peel off the paper. (You work on Spectrum, Jackie, so you know it's tendencies, but others might not.) I've never had that problem in any way, shape or form with Wallis. It is iron. I paint, scrub, remove, layer, wash off, add, subtract and never have yet reached a point where this paper isn't still 'alive' and able to take it. I take it out in the back yard and wash it off, if I need to, using the garden hose on a hot day, or stick it in the bathtub, let it dry and get to it again. Only two things: don't use frisket (Kitty says--I never have) and don't spray with heavy fixative if you want to go back in and rework it.

I've never cared much for the Spectrum myself. It seemed wimpy to me--my personal opinion is all. It never seemed to have as much depth as the Wallis, something I've come to rely on. And my students love Wallis because it's so forgiving. It seems expensive until you realize that you never have to waste a piece if your painting is unsatisfactory. Then Canson gets expensive, as far as I'm concerned (only because I just waste the stuff, which I've found particularly useless for my work--again, personal opinion!)

Deborah

Marc Hanson
03-10-2004, 11:37 AM
Jackie,

I'm a Wallis fan right off.

But I agree with Dark Shades' description of the difference between the two. For the way I work, and the only way you'll find out what works for you is to try them both, Art Spectrum is too coarse.

I have used the AS primer to prime board and rag museum board and that is pretty nice.

I like Wallis because although it seems rough, it will take a lot of pastel without any 'flaking off' of the layers, a big plus. After the first layer or two, the roughness is much reduced and the pastel just continues to go on like butter.

In fact, I have found there to be a sheet to sheet difference in the amount of tooth in the primer. This is disappointing when it isn't toothy enough. Then the pastel application becomes more difficult.

In the end it's a personal preference, they're both fine materials.

Marc H



. Wallis is like fine Sandpaper and get the feeling of it being softer to work on, Art Spectrum strikes me as being a bit more coarse, and a harder surface...

bcraver
03-10-2004, 01:27 PM
I like both of them, but the more I use Wallis, the more I love it. I always tone the Wallis with some kind of color, using airbrush colors and a foam paintbrush. I can get some very interesting colored grounds and it dried in a few minutes, ready for pastel!

I haven't tried to get a really really dark tone on the Wallis yet, and I do like the deeper Art Spectrum colors: elephant, black, that orangy rust color. Just depends on how much you want the support to show.

The Wallis will take more layers than the Art Spectrum.

Jakki, you must try the Wallis, I can't wait to hear how you like it!

skintone
03-10-2004, 01:44 PM
Is there a fight? Where do I place my bet? I have dealt with Wallis yet. I know the AS will take a finger off with op, if you aren't paying attention. I thought it felt pretty smooth, turned out it was my finger that was getting smoother from blending on that stuff.

bnoonan
03-10-2004, 02:39 PM
Wallis - what's there to say.... When you can find a product that allows you to put on up to 25 layers of pastel - it's my kind of paper!!!

I've tried Ersta but thought I was joining the witness protection progam when it took off my finger print. Painting with cracked fingers isn't right! Blood doesn't blend well.

Art Spectrum is probably good for blending as I've seen some lovely work on it but I personally can't stand the stuff. It's too whimpy as was previously described.

I'm with Dee - you can hose it down and start over and it's just forgiving and affordable. I promise that anyone who works with it won't return to anything else.

B (Do I sound like someone with stock in Wallis paper?) Nope - just a huge fan!

lawsportraits
03-10-2004, 04:04 PM
I haven't given Art Spectrum enough attention to make a thorough critic; however, the one time I did try it I didn't like it.

I've used Wallis paper for years and I *love* it. It's true, it does take a great deal of abuse. It's not a paper for doing fine detail, but high realism is not your game anyway. The archival grade is what I use. I usually buy it by the roll. It;s ideal for mixed media as well.

Heather

MKathleen
03-10-2004, 04:27 PM
:) Hi There, just jumping in to say thank you for the Wallis vs Art Spectrum discussion. I've just recently used Wallis for two soft pastel paintings and thought I'd like to try Art Spectrum too. I had a small piece of Erasta one time but never used it--which felt like a very fine grit sandpaper.
Looking forward to more discussion pro and con--maybe a poll?
Kathy

Maggie P
03-10-2004, 04:45 PM
I'm a Wallis fan, too. When I started with pastels I used Ersta (only because Wallis paper hadn't been invented yet). I always was concerned that Ersta wasn't archival, so I switched to Wallis paper when it became available.

I agree with everything dee_artist said about the differences. I really don't like Art Spectrum paper now. It seems wimpy and has a funny texture I can't get used to. (But I *love* their primer, which comes in lovely colors and you can put on a variety of surfaces.)

I tried Art Spectrum paper only because it came in colors. But now you can get Wallis paper in that beautiful beigy-gray color! I use it all the time for painting outdoors. And when I want to underpaint before using pastel, I use Wallis' white paper. You can mask off an area that you want to be a brilliant bright and then tone everything else (with watercolor, liquid acrylic, pastels and turp, pastels and water, etc, etc) and it's a wonderful effect.

And I just have to emphasize again how much you can abuse it. Don't like an area? scrub it off. Hate the whole painting? blast it with a garden hose! Rub it off with a foam brush and take some turpenoid and paper towels and you can turn a failed painting into a beautifully toned surface --with all its tooth -- for the next painting.

I do blend with my fingers on it. I'm just careful and try not to do too much so I'll still have some skin and not bleed on the pastel. I also blend with a foam brush, and those nifty rubber blending tools, and pieces of foamcore with the outer paper removed (this makes a great brush!).

I could go on and on, but I guess I already have!

Dark_Shades
03-10-2004, 05:29 PM
Just goes to show......... the Proof of the Pudding ..... is in the Eating

jackiesimmonds
03-10-2004, 06:12 PM
I've tried Ersta but thought I was joining the witness protection progam when it took off my finger print. Painting with cracked fingers isn't right! Blood doesn't blend well.




Most amused by this.

J

Judging by all the accolades here, I will clearly have to try the Wallis. Wish I could acquire just one sample sheet easily, in order to have a bash with it. However, as it isn't sold here in the UK, getting hold of a single sheet aint easy, so I will have to buy a pack.

Deborah Secor
03-10-2004, 06:47 PM
I decided to rate this thread. It's another candidate for the Archives.

I can't understand how you bled using Ersta, Barb. I guess you could--but if that made ya bleed look out for 'real' sandpaper! Love your quip, however...

I, too, do some blending on the Wallis. I find if you get a little pillow of color built up with enough layers you can move it around quite nicely. I don't often use my fingers, though, as I rely on the Colour Shapers instead. I've become quite fond of them. Someone mentioned to me that you use them just like a brush in oils to move and blend pastels and from then on I was off and running!

I got some Schmincke Sansfix not long ago and found it had a funny mix of grit and slick. It blended nicely but always, always came back with a texture on top. Interesting for some subjects. It will never give Wallis a run for its money, however! Couldn't get along without my Wallis.

Deborah

Maggie P
03-10-2004, 07:04 PM
Most amused by this.

J

Judging by all the accolades here, I will clearly have to try the Wallis. Wish I could acquire just one sample sheet easily, in order to have a bash with it. However, as it isn't sold here in the UK, getting hold of a single sheet aint easy, so I will have to buy a pack.

Jackie, I'm heading to the UK in less than 4 weeks and will have Wallis paper with me. If you'd like to email me directly we could see if I'll be traveling anywhere near you or where I could drop a sheet or two off for you.

Mo.
03-10-2004, 07:37 PM
Interesting thread indeed.I've no idea what Wallis paper is like so cannot compare, I have used Art Spectrum however and Art Spectrum colorfix primer, both of which I approve and like, although I have to say I've only used them with OP's. Some time back I came across a sheet of Sanfix at my art store, wish I had bought more of this one, as to me it's superior to Art Spectrum and unfortunately haven't seen it there since, the sheets were larger for a start, although a gritty surface that took plenty of layers, finer and smoother than Art Spectrum.

I got some Schmincke Sansfix not long ago and found it had a funny mix of grit and slick. It blended nicely but always, always came back with a texture on top. Interesting for some subjects. It will never give Wallis a run for its money, however! Couldn't get along without my Wallis.

I wonder if this is the same product Dee? (spelling's a tad different) As what you describe didn't happen to me, it was labelled as Sanfix, no manufacturer name at all, and when I asked, all I got was a shrug. (straight out of school sales girl)

Mo.:)

Nodosaurus
03-10-2004, 08:02 PM
I vote for Wallis paper, too. I like the evenness of the texture, and it'll put up with anything I do to it. I've had a lot of papers tear from tapes when I've left them mounted on a work-board for months on end, but never Wallis. I use my fingers to blend on it, no problem - but they are almost too short to hold a pencil anymore. Fortunately I have a spare hand. ;)

Kathryn Wilson
03-10-2004, 08:03 PM
Great Thread! I've used both Wallis and AS - if I were to do something on commission or plan to exhibit a painting I would use Wallis. For day-to-day messing around, experimenting, learning, quick sketching, Art Spectrum is the most economical. It's like Sunday dinner - you bring out the best china for company - the rest of us get paper plates.

I like each for different reasons - AS has wonderful color choices - which has helped me tremendously in dealing with backgrounds and landscapes. Wallis makes you want to paint the same picture forever.

Inkling
03-10-2004, 08:24 PM
Well, I am another one who is hooked on Wallis paper. I have tried the art spectrum paper, mainly because of the colors, but I did not like the texture that was left on the painting. Almost like a crackled look to it. I find Wallis to be wonderful to work on. It's very forgiving, it takes a number of layers and I love the velvety look the finished painting has. I use my fingers (with latex finger gloves on) to blend. Also an angle color shaper to get at the spots too small for fingers.

Khadres
03-11-2004, 01:29 AM
Love the colors available in the AS....but there is a MUCH lower limit of how many layers and how heavily you can apply pastel to it. Found this out in my class....gets powdery, slickery in a hurry, tho of course it's miles and away better than something like Canson.

Wallis was love at first touch...the grey is so lovely and fine....it's infinitely compatible with whatever you wind up wanting to do to it. I couldn't afford a roll, and they don't seem to sell the grey in rolls anyway, but just spent my last art dime on some sheets on sale at Jerrysartarama. I'll surely use the AS again and again, as well, but when I want to really "spoil" myself and give myself a treat....it's Wallis, hands down.

jackiesimmonds
03-11-2004, 02:00 AM
Kitty Wallis must be thrilled to bits with this thread! I bet sales soar!

The main reason I asked, was not for "votes" as such, but simply to know if there was, in fact, a real difference, to make it worth my while to order the Wallis frm the US when I can obtain the AS so easily over here.

Looks like, in general, it would be worth a try, and I hope to meet up with Maggie to take her up on her offer of a sheet to try - thanks Maggie - it would be SO nice to meet you, you look lovely in your pic. And perhaps I can give you something in return ... book? Video? print? Let me know your preference.

J

Kitty Wallis
03-11-2004, 02:24 AM
Thanks Jackie, I am thrilled, it's the question I would have asked if I had thought to. And of course glad to hear how many artists share my experience with the papers. It's always good to get verification of what you think to be true.

Kitty Wallis

Kitty Wallis must be thrilled to bits with this thread! I bet sales soar!

The main reason I asked, was not for "votes" as such, but simply to know if there was, in fact, a real difference, to make it worth my while to order the Wallis frm the US when I can obtain the AS so easily over here.

Looks like, in general, it would be worth a try, and I hope to meet up with Maggie to take her up on her offer of a sheet to try - thanks Maggie - it would be SO nice to meet you, you look lovely in your pic. And perhaps I can give you something in return ... book? Video? print? Let me know your preference.

J

Frcontr
03-11-2004, 03:41 AM
This is great. I asked our teacher at the college what was the best type of paper to get for pastels, and she said anything would work if it was a rough surface. She then told us to get the strathmore pastel paper. I used a sheet two weeks ago with charcol and hated it. I'm going to get some Wallis and give everyone in the class a little sample piece to try. It's hard enough to learn without having a crappy paper to work on. Thank you all for sharing.

jackiesimmonds
03-11-2004, 06:03 AM
This is great. I asked our teacher at the college what was the best type of paper to get for pastels, and she said anything would work if it was a rough surface. She then told us to get the strathmore pastel paper. I used a sheet two weeks ago with charcol and hated it. I'm going to get some Wallis and give everyone in the class a little sample piece to try. It's hard enough to learn without having a crappy paper to work on. Thank you all for sharing.

Also - for the sake of economy - get some CANSON MI-TEINTE. And try both sides. One side has a texture, the other is smooth. I use it a lot, (I like the smooth side) and I also like FABRIANO TIZIANO, which comes in great colour too.

FYI the pics below were all done, bar one, on Canson.

J

MarshaSavage
03-11-2004, 06:43 AM
Jackie and all,

The Wallis is far and above the best paper for pastel work. Though I do teach my student in the beginning to use Canson. The Art Spectrum is somewhere in the middle in my opinion.

I think someone mentioned about toning the Wallis. I tone 95% of my Wallis - even if I use the Belgian Mist. I use Nupastel sticks to rub all over the surface and then Turpenoid and a large housepainting brush and liquify the pastel. I stroke the Turpenoid over the Nupastel in all directions, sometimes ending with softer strokes going all in one direction. Then let it dry. I have used a hair dryer to hurry the drying process, but don't get too close. You can change the color, burn it, and also cause the paper to buckle a little bit. My favorite colors to tone the Wallis is a brilliant red and a brilliant royal blue. Paintings just seem to pop with one of those colors underneath.

Be sure to order some, I just received an order yesterday and am looking forward to continuing my work on Wallis. It seemed that a company called Dakota Pastels has about the best price on Wallis sheets. I have ordered a roll before, but found that as I got about half-way through the roll, the sheets were curling and if I needed large pieces I had to dry-mount them to foam core. I finally cut the last of the roll up and laid the pieces on our pool table with heavy books on top to flatten it.

Love my Canson, but Wallis is the cream of the crop!

Marsha

Khadres
03-11-2004, 09:07 AM
Just got a half dozen sheets 24X36" of Wallis from jerrysartarama.com for $11.99 each...the 18X24" are on for $5.99...best prices I've found for it. I wouldn't really have space to spread out a whole roll to cut anyway and doubt I'll be doing anything bigger than 24X36 ANY time soon!

CarlyHardy
03-11-2004, 09:43 AM
I use Art Spectrum a lot for my plein air paintings. The colors are rich...I do have my favorites....and its fast to chop, attach to foamcore, and I'm off to paint with a stack of six or more possible backgrounds in my bag. I rather like the coarser surface for plein air....it forces me to be decisive about the colors I choose because I don't want to brush off pastel and start over! Time is such a factor when painting plein air. Since I don't have a lot of tooth for umpteen layers, I have to be economical with my plein air approach in assessing values, intensity of color, etc. In a way, the aspects of Art Spectrum which are negatives in the studio....are positives, for me, on location.

Having said all that, LOL, if I only had one paper to work on, I'd choose Wallis for all of the already mentioned qualities.

For a really dark tone on Wallis, try the deepest royal blue NuPastel and the deepest red together, then turpenoid to blend the color in. Makes a really deep rich burgundy.

carly
(I'm rating this thread also!)

Maggie P
03-11-2004, 02:40 PM
[QUOTE=CHClements
For a really dark tone on Wallis, try the deepest royal blue NuPastel and the deepest red together, then turpenoid to blend the color in. Makes a really deep rich burgundy.

carly
[/QUOTE]

Another way to get a lovely dark tone on Wallis is India ink. I use a mix of black and either blue (for cool base) or sienna (for warm base). It covers beautifully without filling the grain.

Kitty Wallis
03-11-2004, 06:27 PM
I use Createx Pure Pigments to underpaint my paper. It's a liquid dispersion in water of finely ground pigment. It's very strong, effortless color, easily made into vivid washes.

I like Quinacridone Magenta and Pthalo green, washed over each other for deep darks. Their Carbozole Violet is very dark also, and if applied too richly it will oxidize a rich bronzy green. The Pthalo Blue is very dark and oxidizes metalic magenta. These darks are great in places where pastels may be wimpy in color.

I'm going to start a thread about Createx, and underpainting versus toning.

Kitty

[QUOTE=CHClements
For a really dark tone on Wallis, try the deepest royal blue NuPastel and the deepest red together, then turpenoid to blend the color in. Makes a really deep rich burgundy.

carly


Another way to get a lovely dark tone on Wallis is India ink. I use a mix of black and either blue (for cool base) or sienna (for warm base). It covers beautifully without filling the grain.[/QUOTE]

CarlyHardy
03-11-2004, 08:20 PM
I have some of the Createx Pure Pigments but not a good variety of colors. Only one supplier in Atlanta carries them. Anyone know of an online resource?
carly

prestonsega
03-11-2004, 09:41 PM
At the risk of sounding as if I am jumping on the Wallis band wagon, I will share this story. A few months ago I ordered a sample pack of paper from Dakota Pastel. It contained a 9" x 12" sample sheet of each of the papers that Dakota carries. In order to have an unbiased oppinion of the support that best suits my needs, I mounted each sheet to the back of 11" x 17" canvas boards so that the brand was not known till I completed a work.This trial period was lengthy, but economical as opposed to purchasing full sheets of paper. Some papers were so obviously not for me that I discarded it before getting into the painting. Guess what...Wallis won hands down, with LaCarte coming in a close 2nd. (the danger of water damage with LaCarte is a real draw back...) I highly recommend this method of selection in that I feel confident of my choice of support.

Kitty Wallis
03-11-2004, 10:55 PM
Hi again,

Createx has compiled a set called the 'Kitty Wallis' set at my suggestion. It is based on the Michael Wilcox idea of the split primary palette; a warm and a cool of each of the 3 primaries to ensure clean colors no matter what you want to mix.

With these six colors you can mix neon orange, kelly green, firey violet purple, as well as rich sap green and warm berry purple, etc. No more mixing blue and red and getting mud.

For more information about the split palette, read 'Blue And Yellow Don't Make Green'. by Wilcox or go to his website

Createx phone# 800 243 2712

Kitty Wallis

I have some of the Createx Pure Pigments but not a good variety of colors. Only one supplier in Atlanta carries them. Anyone know of an online resource?
carly