View Full Version : Musings on pastel paper

06-29-2005, 04:56 PM
Originally I had a stack of Strathmore pastel paper, and I found it very frustrating to work with. And although i plan to get my hands on some wallis or Colorfix paper, I succumbed to the temptation and bought some Canso Mi tientes paper since it was the best next level of paper my local art store had.

I figured I wouldnt know if it was bad unless I tried it.

Well Im not an experienced pastelist , but it sure is frustrating.seems the pits on the paper are so large that if I block out areas using the side of a pastel stick that white areas(the pits) , remain.

Whats the secret to using this kind of paper if any or what is this paper really suited for as far as pastels?

I definitely plan on getting better paper, but in the meantime ive got a ton of this paper and would like to learn how to use it best.
What is it good for. Im hoping no one says bird doo paper cause I do own a bird and up till now shes been using newspaper which is considerably less expensive.

06-29-2005, 05:08 PM
Hi there,

You know, we have a saying here : « when one does not know how to dance, it's the floor that's tilted» :-) But don't worry, because also I make a mess out of that paper.
I work with Colourfix and I do much better on that.
Now, I guess that Techris52 (spell ? ) uses Canson alot and he does wonderfull stuff.
I guess he uses the smooth side, not the granier. However it seems that Daniel Greene uses the rough side and REALLY WELL.
Try the softer side. If you don't like it, well jump into another one. Of course that with time you'll be abble to do good work on every paper. And even better of course with a good paper.
I still have some Canson, but don't have the guts to try it more for now.
Don't get worried if anything doesn't go as you expected, happens all the time to me.
With time you'll even learn to take advantage of those pits (like imitating stone for insteance). There's a post here with a Buda (? ) statue where that is visible.
I hope I was of some help and will be looking forward to see more work from you.



06-29-2005, 05:13 PM
Some people are able to use Canson and other laid papers with spectacular results; most people aren't so skilled or lucky, take your pick. One approach is to use the back side- the smooth side- of Canson- it doesn't hold as many layers, but it'll hold a few, and you can sand it lightly beforehand and it'll hold a few more (just, don't try for nice crisp edges). Otherwise, this is what I did with my Canson once I switched to Wallis for good:

- folded pieces of it to make pastel dust-catching trays
- cut it into useable sizes for sketches
- lined a "finished pieces" storage drawer with it
- gave it to my son who just likes paper- any paper- for his own drawings

06-29-2005, 05:29 PM
The smooth side of Canson works reasonably well with colored pencils too and as a general drawing paper (using contrasting media such as conte crayons, etc.) I have never been able to get much pastel use out of it either, but then I lay pastel on pretty thick which just doesn't work on it.

06-29-2005, 05:48 PM
Facinating, and yet when you go to the art store you see all kinds of strathmore and canson papers as if they are the end all be all.

Had a similar experience in a drawing class were I was struggling with the paper.The professor promptly said it was my bad paper that was the trouble.So there seems to be an abundance of bad paper out there which people are unwittingly purchasing.

I do not know what Wallis is like but i imagine the so-called sand paper being similar to regular sand paper the kind used in household repairs. at least having a grainier smaller diameter tooth.

Guess ill use it for sketching and drawing until its time for the bird to use it.

I suspect that this "bad" paper is good for certain styles of pastel art. In any case thank you very much.

06-29-2005, 05:57 PM
I think most art stores carry these papers mainly because they're cheap. And, as you say, I've seen many gorgeous paintings and drawings done on Canson...it just doesn't work well for me. Wallis and Colourfix papers are a much finer grain sandpaper than that used in household projects and they're archival whereas household sandpaper will self-destruct relatively quickly. Do you have a Hobby Lobby near you? They carry Colorfix at a fairly reasonable price, especially when they're having a paper sale. Watch your newspaper.

06-29-2005, 06:50 PM
Found a store with colorfix.Going to get some tommorow.

06-29-2005, 07:40 PM
Like Sooz said, Canson has a smooth side and a rough side. Most people prefer the smooth side. It is really ok to use on the smooth side once you get used to it- for many years that was all pastellest had to work with. The rough side drives most people nuts. Look closely at both sides. I just did a large picture on it. I also prefer Art Spectrum colorfix. Sometimes hobby lobby has it for 1/2 price. If you are a beginner and not yet selling your work (like me) why don't you go ahead and use up the canson with quick pastel sketches and exercises, and save the sanded paper for when you plan something more elaborate? My pastel teacher used canson, and could produce amazing results.

06-29-2005, 08:44 PM
If you are a beginner and not yet selling your work (like me) why don't you go ahead and use up the canson with quick pastel sketches and exercises, and save the sanded paper for when you plan something more elaborate? My pastel teacher used canson, and could produce amazing results. I have a little canson sketch book, with a bunch of colors of pastel papers in it, and keep it and a set of pastel pencils or sticks in the car- if I have to wait for the kids, etc. somewhere, I can do quick sketches on it- it is actually not bad paper- for paper it is good.

BTW I bought a great deal of strathmore when it was on sale- and discovered it was not very good quality- esp. for watercolor paper- for sketching with pencil it is ok; that is why a forum like this is so good- if people have had bad or good experiences, they let you know. Also, my husband had a sheet of what was supposed to be fine sandpaper- like, real sandpaper, and I tried it out- well, it is best left to sanding the wood!

Jo Castillo
06-30-2005, 12:33 AM
I find Strathmore paper is awful. Griddy and doesn't hold pastels at all.

Canson is pretty good. I have even done underpainting with denatured alcohol as the liquid. It sort of wrinkled when wet but dried quickly. You can spray lightly to ad a little more tooth when it gets full. I bought some mounted Canson at the Pastel convention and they mount the rough side up to work on. It gives me a less detailed painting which is good as I tend to get bogged down in detail. Anyway, it is good to practice on .. it is a favorite of some artists.
Here is ta mounted Canson painting, with a detail to show the grid and underpainting showing....

06-30-2005, 08:08 AM
Very interesting commentaries.Plus im also using only Rembrandt pastels.So that must play into it as well.Great info.

06-30-2005, 08:33 AM
Yuck on the Rembrants. Try Unison, Mount Vision, Great American, Schmicke, or Terry Ludwig.

Noblock99. Absoulutely beautiful painting!

06-30-2005, 09:52 AM
Yuck on the Rembrants. Try Unison, Mount Vision, Great American, Schmicke, or Terry Ludwig.

Noblock99. Absoulutely beautiful painting!

yuppers :clap:

Also wanted to add... the first time I tried sanded paper I got scared because I felt it ate up my pastels and I went back to the canson....tried the sanded paper again one yr later and now I wont use anything except Wallis. I am very heavy handed and it really suites my style.

06-30-2005, 11:38 AM
This is a great thread. I just started a life drawing class at the local art museum last night - a big step for me since my only other exposure to formal lessons since 8th grade art class has been taking "beginning drawing" at the local adult school twice. This class is a whole 'nother level.

Anyway, the class supply list said we need Canson Mi-Tientes paper in a medium gray color. I don't like the rough side of the Canson at all, but have had some relatively decent results with the smooth side since I discovered here that it was okay to use it. :D

But when I went to Jerrys to get my supplies I told the girl I was not too crazy about the Canson, so she suggested Strathmore. I'd never heard of it before, so bought a pad of medium-gray Strathmore, which I used for the first time in class last night. Well I *hated* it. It was just awful. It made the Canson seem like the Gold Standard.

So I'm not sure what paper would be good for me. I admit I want something cheap since this class is a pure learning experience for me, I've never worked with live models before in my life, so my results are likely to be pretty amateurish, and I don't want to waste expensive paper on student daubs. But I sure don't like this Strathmore. I got better results just with the cheapo sketch pad paper I used in my beginning drawing class.

Debbie C.

06-30-2005, 11:56 AM
You inspire me with such confidence, Debbie! :D I just bought a pad of the Strathmore paper to try out! LOL Oh, well, if I can't use it for pastels, I will try it with oilies or colored pencils...waste not, want not, right? Good luck on your life drawing class!

06-30-2005, 12:39 PM
Ditto on the Strathmore!! I really don't like it for soft pastel. I did my "Ludwig Snare" on a full sheet of black Strathmore, and fought with the paper through the whole painting. Not to mention it ate up alot of my fav Terry Ludwig pastel...you know the Dark Eggplant...arggghhhh (Terry should recommend Strathmore...lol...when I first got my T.L's, I asked Terry if he recommended a surface.....He said CONCRETE.....funny guy :rolleyes: :D ). I was happy with the end result of the painting, but it was a hard fought victory.

But I have to give Strathmore some credit. I really like using it with my conte pencils....currently using some red strathmore for a self portrait. The waxiness of the pencils makes the difference.

06-30-2005, 02:37 PM
LOL Sooz,
You gave me a good idea for the Strathmore paper and the life drawing class. We have the same model in the same pose for three weeks in a row, but I've already done as much as I plan to with the picture from last night. So next week I can try doing her in oilies, and then maybe colored pencils the week after that! I have a set of colored pencils but have only used them for small finishing touches, never a whole picture before.

Debbie C.

06-30-2005, 02:46 PM
Great tip muffin, and the portrait is beautifull indeed, lovely eyes.

06-30-2005, 04:03 PM
My full set of Caran d'Ache Pablo pencils arrived today and I can hardly wait to try 'em out! I have found that Strathmore's Artagain recylcled paper works beautifully with colored pencils. I've also got two hand made sketch books about 7X11 each with Stonehenge paper in one and Arches textwove in the other...I'm hoping pencils and hard pastels will work in those as well as colored pencils and oilies. Ahhh, so many possibilities, so little time!

07-03-2005, 02:17 AM
Sooz, you are right and I forgot about what good results I got with Stratmore with colored pencils. My mother in law took a watercolor class and brought Stratmore, it literally seperated the colors into the seperate components- I guess if she was painting abstracts this could be interesting. I sure bought a lot of not-so-good paper for pastels in the beginning because I did not know what was good. Got Strathmore, Daler-Rowney, but Canson was supposed to be really great...

07-03-2005, 02:37 AM
I have taught pastel for years and years, and also used Canson for years and years. All the images in the row at the bottom of this post were done on Canson (which I use if I run out of Wallis these days!)

There is a way of using Canson well that people don't always understand.

Because it doesn't have the tooth of a sanded surface, it will "fill" easily and quickly, more so on the smooth side than on the rough side (I always use the smooth side nevertheless because I do not like the intrusive texture of the rough side).


What you have to do is this. You have to USE A LIGHT TOUCH in the early stages of a painting, and dont overload the paper. Once you are confident that you know exactly where you are going with your picture, you can begin to use more pressure and make final, more definite marks.

The alternative to using very light pressure in the early stages is

to either use hard pastels to begin with, which leave less residue on the paper,

or better still, begin the picture with felt-tip pen, the brush style is good, no grit to fill the tooth of the paper, and you can happily draw, and add some basic colour areas, without any paper buckling at all.

or you can stretch the paper onto a board (wet the back, put the paper down, a secure the edges with sticky tape, the kind yu have to wet) leave to dry, and it will dry tight as a drum. Then you can begin the painting with watercolour, or best of all, gouache, areas of colour.

IMPORTANT: When you work with your pastels, if you create an area you do not like, or get something wrong for colour or tone, instead of working over the top, use a stiff brush and BRUSH IT OFF, spray fix the area, and go again.

If you remember these simple "rules", Canson will become your friend. It is a very good paper, not a bad one at all- to say it is bad is doing it a great injustice. It's great that it offers two different types of surface for the price of one; it is sturdy; it is well-made; it doesn't have "laid lines" like some papers, and it comes in lovely colours. It is lightweight and comparatively inexpensive. You can blend on it really, really well, using either tissue or fingers.

For those who cannot afford, or do not get on with sanded surfaces, it is excellent.

And they do not pay me to say this.


07-03-2005, 07:06 AM
Hi All,

One can put pastel down on most any kind of paper. Several novices to professionals do have preferences. And that is good. I visit galleries all the time, and see some fantastic pastel works dones on all types of papers. Locally, oddly enough, not much is done on Wallis.

I took a course last year and used Canson. Up until that point I had been using Wallis and various professional artist pastels. I used the materials provided with the course: three Conte Pastel pencils (blue, red, and yellow), along with some chalky square pastels that may have cost less than $2.

It was all I could do short of pulling out my hair and eyeball.

The talent was varied in the class. By the weeks end, I was amazed at the work the group did as a whole with those materials.

To me if you cannot render the basics good of drawing, shading, and reading light, etc., even pencil on newsprint will bring disappointment.

The limitations of those materials made me think and work harder.

My take, do not limit yourself and try different papers, boards, etc.

Wallis paper is a workhorse. I too have a preference for it. However, I do use other papers as well.


07-03-2005, 10:16 AM
I use the Canson Mi tienstes for Charcoal head studies, the smooth side. It helps to have several layers of it to give it a cussion. I used to use it for pastels also.
The Wallis id my surface of choice now.

07-03-2005, 10:34 AM
A couple other mid-range papers are Stonehenge and Somerset. Both are unsanded. Stonehenge is a bit "harder" surface and Somerset softer. Both are a bit easier to work on than Canson, and less expensive than Wallis or Colourfix. Given a choice, I'll always choose Colourfix or Wallis, but if you really want to pastel up a storm, anything with a bit of "tooth" will work.

Ruth Grinstead
07-03-2005, 12:03 PM
It seems we are all different, we produce art in different ways and like different materials.

Try as many different surfaces as you can until you find what works for you.

I love Wallis and Canson Mi-Teintes, but can't stand Colorfix.


07-04-2005, 09:33 AM
Hi All,

if you cannot render the basics good of drawing, shading, and reading light, etc., even pencil on newsprint will bring disappointment.


I so agree. I have a friend, who struggles with her paintings. She told me the other day that she wanted to stand and watch me do a painting from start to finish - clearly she felt that this would help her to be a better painter. I actually said no, because what she would NOT see, is the layers of experience which underpin every stroke and decision; my level of expertise comes through sheer practice, practice, practice, and this is what she fails to do and refuses to take on. I often do demos, and people gawp because I make it look easy! It isn't anything to do with "easiness", it is to do with confidence and experience.

She copies photos, never works from life, doesn't help herself by studying art instruction books, doesn't do any sketchbook work, and yet expects to imrove - by magic, I think. I reckon she felt that by watching me, she would improve by osmosis. Doesn't work that way.

All materials are "usable". Some will suit you, some will not. Some require a certain approach to get the best out of them. Practice makes - well, if not perfect, then at least better.


07-04-2005, 05:39 PM
I agree with several others here. I have been teaching pastel for many years and always ask my students to paint on Canson Mi-Teintes (not sure I spelled it right!). You really do have to use a much lighter pressure or harder pastel in the beginning -- but it makes you think also before applying your pastel. You really need to do a little pre-planning -- such as doing a thumbnail sketch.

Jackie is so right about people thinking it looks so easy. Years of practice makes it so that you can paint on most any surface -- but having said that, of course, you will have your own preferences.

I paint about 45% of the time on Canson, 45% of the time on Wallis and the other 10% on various other papers. Don't give up on Canson. It is a wonderful surface -- both sides -- though I prefer the smoother side.

Here is a painting on Canson:

you can do it too! Just practice!

Deborah Secor
07-04-2005, 07:04 PM
Well, my hat's off to Jackie and Marsha. I've tried Canson--I've been painting in pastels since 1986 and I tell ya, I can't make that stuff work for BEANS!!! It must be this 'light hand' I have... (not.) I really have tried to use it. I mean, $22 a sheet versus, what--$2.50, if that? I'd love to find a way to make it work but all that happens for me is that I trash the $2.50. I'd rather use the Wallis, since at lest if I trash the painting I can reuse and reuse and reuse and reuse (ad infinitum) the paper!

I wrote an article in which I compared a bunch of different papers, just to see what I liked. I like La Carte and Schmincke Sansfix. Of the softer papers I liked the Somerset Velvet best. I figure Rives BFK and Arches come in about the same--not particularly good for my uses. And then there's always Art Spectrum... some people like it.

I'm sticking pretty much to Wallis!


07-04-2005, 08:51 PM
We always seem to wind up with Canson Wars when the issue of paper comes up. The fact is that Canson is fine for some, not so useful for others and it's not a matter of gross negligence on the part of those who don't like it; it's just personal preference like choosing which brand of pastels to use.

I know folks who can do gorgeous artwork on paper bags...that's great. I think I'd rather use something else. I still use Canson for a variety of things, even pastels. I like the colors it comes in and it is cheap; I even ordered some awhile back. But when I set out to do a sizeable pastel, I USUALLY choose something else and don't feel the least bit apologetic or disloyal about it. Here's hoping the Canson company doesn't hire hit men! :D

07-04-2005, 09:15 PM
I started out with Canson and hated it. then i bought some Strathmore and found I got much better results on it. Go figure. So I started experimenting with papers. I really liked working on the Daler-Rowney Ingres pastel paper - no dimples to deal with. I've tried other ingres papers and hated them. Then Kitty sent me her samples and I fell in love with her museum paper and that is my #1 personal preference. I know that her professional grade is more popular, but I definitely prefer the richer tooth of the museum. Makes me feel like I am painting and really works with my style.

alternately I really like colourfix, but it is hard to get here.

07-05-2005, 05:51 AM
I'm glad there are many different types of paper. Not all are suited for each situation. I love my Wallis, and I am beginning to like the Art Spectrum paper. I have used and adored the Arches Cover Stock. And, I have painted on watercolor paper that has been coated with a pumice mixture and thoroughly enjoyed it.

So . . . my thoughts on this are to always try the different papers. Use what you like personally and works for you. Don't ever worry about what other people think! I don't.

07-05-2005, 11:50 AM
I've been following this thread with much interest, as this is my dilemma. I'm a new artist so still very much in a "learning" mode. My paintings are done for me alone at this point and each one is definitely a learning experience for me. Of course I would love wonderful paper, but just can't afford to use something like, for example, Wallis paper, for things that are mostly student exercises, especially in things like my first life drawing class that I'm taking.

After my disappointement with the Strathmore pastel paper and soft pastels in my first life drawing class I decided to give it a try with oil pastels, and used it for this picture which I posted over in the 2-hour-sketch thread in the Oil Pastel Studio:

And I found I really disliked it there as well. The vertical grain of the paper really shows up and I don't care for it, and did not like the way the OPs covered the paper at all. However I don't want to use ultra-cheap paper either, just in case my picture turns out well and I decide its' a "keeper". :)

So I'm trying to find paper that is not too expensive, and that comes in a pad for easy carting back and forth to class, and that works okay with pastels. I actually have a pad of Strathmore drawing paper that I bought for my beginning drawing class in the spring, and that worked very nicely with soft pastels. I was actually pretty happy with it, happier with it than the Strathmore pastel paper which I really dislike.

And since learning here that it was okay to use the smooth side of the Canson paper I find that's not so bad either, though I still don't *love* it. I purchased the Strathmore because it came in an all-gray pad. I'd really like a pad that came in pale gray or cream or light blue, not white, but all the pads at Jerrys seem to be either all-white, or multi-colored (which means a lot gets wasted as I don't like all the colors).

I guess the bottom line is that I have not found my answer yet, if it even exists. :D

Debbie C.

07-05-2005, 11:51 AM
Has anyone tried Unison's pastel paper? I'm having trouble locating Wallis or Artspectrum whenever I want it, but I notice that Curry's always has Unison. Could their paper be as good as their pastels?

07-05-2005, 12:06 PM
Agnes, yes! I bought a few sheets of that from Curry's last year and like it fine...which is not surprising since it is actually white Somerset Velvet! Beautiful soft stuff.

And Debbie....save your pennies, girl, and try a 12X18 pad of the pro grade of Wallis (cheaper than the Museum grade but I love it just as well). Try the Belgium Mist if you like a neutral color or the white. Now...I know you think around $30 (usually about that on one or another webmart) seems outrageous for paper, BUT...this stuff can be re-cycled virtually FOREVER. If you decide not to keep all your early efforts (and who wants to?), you just brush this stuff off, give it a rinse under the spigot, let it dry and have at it again! And again! And again, if you want to! You'll only need to use each sheet three times and will be back to about the same price per use as the cheap stuff!

Deborah Secor
07-05-2005, 12:10 PM
Debbie--what Sooz said!! Times three! You can reuse Wallis for so long I can't tell ya how many times. You don't even have to wet it to clean it off, unless you want to. I just use my handy-dandy foam house painting brush to very briskly rub it. It doesn't damage the paper in any way. This stuff is iron! I tape the old painting to a board and just have at it. It usually ends up being a sort of greenish gray color (since I do landscapes) that's quite pleasant for the next painting...


07-05-2005, 12:13 PM
Sooz I agree Wallis sounds great. However (true confession time <blush>). I am a real packrat. I *never* get rid of any of my pictures, even the real stinkers. I have a bunch going back to the first time I took beginning drawing 2 years ago. Some of them really embarrass me to look at. However I can't get rid of a single one.

Debbie C.

07-05-2005, 12:17 PM
Ah, well...packrats like you will have to take the paper pricing a little at a time then. I really like the idea of NOT keeping everything I do since it allows me to try stuff with no worry about "wasting" supplies. That used to be a real bugaboo for me when I worked in oils....I dreaded "spoiling" that nice white canvas and put off starting each new painting. Finally I got to the point where I told myself I could recycle those too before I got over the "stage fright".

07-06-2005, 03:58 AM

I have been following this thread with interest. I do only figure drawing at the life group and I actually prefer the rough side of the Canson paper to the smooth side. I think it has something to do with the fact that I am using the paper colour as one of the major mid-tones and I like the way it shows in the bottom of the dimples. I think if I was trying to do anything with fine detail over a long period (life poses are no more than 30 minutes and usually less) the rough side of the paper would probably drive me crazy.

I have never tried colorfix paper although they sell it near here, the cost has scared me off. What I do, though, is buy colorfix primer and use it to recycle unsatisfactory works on paper. A pot of primer gives me a couple of dozen A2 sheets with the nice sandy surface: I hate throwing out drawings that didn't work, I keep thinking about the trees and the cost of paper - I went for over a year without buying any paper when i started on this recycling kick. At first I was using gesso to recycle, but I much prefer the colorfix goop.

Just my two cents' worth...


Marg :)

07-06-2005, 04:38 AM
I am glad, in checking back with this thread, that there is more positive feedback about Canson. I really like it, the rough side, and thought maybe something was wrong with me (being new to pastels). I have done several large landscapes and a portrait recently with it. I have been so pleased and then been advised by some that it is inferior in some way. I would have to say now, that it is more of a matter of style and preference, than quality. I like the Wallis, too.

So, I will hold my head high and continue to use it.

Jackie and Marsha, thank you for help with the confidence.


07-06-2005, 08:40 AM
Hi Marg (and Donna),
Of all the pictures I have done so far (which is not many since I'm so new at this! LOL) was asctually done on the Canson rough side. It's one of the few pictures I've done that I actually thought was maybe worth framing, and my son and daughter-in-law have it hanging in their apartment.

And the thing I initially disliked, but which I think did make it work for this picture - was exactly what you say - that the rough dimples made it impossible for me to try to get any fine detail, and the picture probably worked better because of it.

So I think it is really all a matter of taste. When I do a picture I like to cover the *entire* background with color. I just hate to have any of the paper showing through when I do a picture. I want the paper to be entirely covered with pastel. If any of the paper shows I'm very upset with my picture. It irks me like fingernails on a blackboard.

But I know that's just *me*. I certainly know everyone does not feel that way, and I guess many people even think I'm nuts. :) But that's why the smooth side of Canson works better for me. So far, for all its potential drawbacks, the Canson smooth side is the one that has worked before for me as being both:
1) fairly inexpensive and available in a pad
2) produces fairly reasonable results.

Debbie C.

07-06-2005, 11:22 PM

I really agree with you it's a matter of taste - and i guess if I were a better pastellist and could get all the background covered I might feel differently about the paper, too. I actively dislike the smoother side of the Canson precisely because it seems to me to be asking to be completely covered up and I know I will never have the time to do that working at the size and speed that I do. So I try and incorporate the paper colour into the picture palette - which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't!! I too am a relative beginner at this!! And if I ever get around to trying still life or something that keeps still long enough, I'll try the smooth side again.

I haven't tried any of these other papers - the local (country town) art shop has Canson and a bit of Colorfix because that's what the small number of serious local pastellists buy: next time I go on an expedition to the Big Smoke to a big art supplier I will check out the others!


Marg :wave:

07-16-2005, 06:34 PM
There are no evil or angelic supports, or pastels for that matter. There is just what works for you for the goal you are after. Some pastelists work on masonite boards that have been gessoed with a mixture of gesso and pumice. These are inexpensive, durable and workable for those artists, I don't think I would like the hard surface but haven't tried them. The pumice or marble dust or Artworks goo all are inexpensive if you want to make a "sanded" surface paper. I have seen great charcoal work done on smoothly gessoed masonite as well. It's all in personal preference. Some people find Colorfix too plastic feeling, especially after Wallis, I like them about equally. Some folks use the laid texture of strathmore to good effect and I know artists who won't use anything but Canson. The "right" paper and pigment material may make the job easier, but the end effect still comes from applying experience and knowledge.
But, that said, please don't expect great things from me using the dimpled Canson. I'm really liking the Wallis and Colorfix papers. I know I used to enjoy the velors too for some effects and probably still will.

07-16-2005, 09:12 PM
Very nice reply.Very informative.

07-16-2005, 09:30 PM
I do not dislike the smooth side of canson, but have used mostly art spectrum- I thought you guys were nuts about reusing the Wallis constantly, but have to admit, I broke out my horde of wallis for when 'I was good enough' so that I could, like Debbie said in the sketch thread, let the 'picture paint itself'. This after using art spectrum for 7 months- was amazed at that wallis paper... since I had a real pastel painting posted above my picture (Sooz's), and my reference photo, I have scrubbed the entire painting off of that one piece of paper at least 4 times and redone it.... it is about to be number 5.... I have higher standards now seeing what pastel can look like right under my nose- but last week, the half off coupon for art paper and the lack of Art Spectrum paper at one hobby lobby led me to buy a bunch of Fabriano Tiziano, which seemed to be a mixture of the 2 sides of canson and had beautiful shades... I truly hated the paper for pastel though- someone at Jerry's told me it was the next best thing to gold a month ago, so at half off thought it would be great....it is really not a bargain to me to spend a bunch on pastels though, then 70 cents for a huge sheet to do it on, only to knock on the board and have the entire thing fall off- nearly... lucky for me (I think) one of the other hobby lobbies had a bunch of AS paper... perhaps if I put the wallis away I will just forget all about it... but was really glad I took all the rest of the FT paper back...should have known when it listed scrapbooking first, and pastel about last...

07-17-2005, 08:18 AM
Wow its truly amazing you can rework that paper so much. I did manage to find some colorfix papper locally , but I have not used it yet.Getting inspired.

07-17-2005, 05:59 PM
Can't wait to see if you like the colorfix paper! I think it is a great paper for the price- esp. half price! I think Kitty Wallis says to PM her for a small sample of it- is that in the Dakota paper sampler set?