View Full Version : Toning Wallis Paper with Foam Pad Brush

Deborah Secor
02-13-2007, 09:37 PM
Here's a quick (very quick!) demo of how I tone my Wallis paper using soft pastels and a foam brush.

1. I tape the paper down on a board all the way around. I used a Nupastel here, only because someone was asking about them. Using the open, flat side of the stick I lay down a loose layer or two of the pastel. It's easier to just keep the board flat on the table, but I sometimes tone it on the easel because I'm demonstrating.


2. You can see that you don't need a ton of pastel. More than this is just a waste of pigment.


3. I use a foam house painting brush (now you recognize it--right? :D) laid flat on the paper, and rub like crazy!


4. And here's what the paper looks like when it's almost ready to use. You can see a few of the swirls left there by the brush. I usually rub all that away and then use charcoal to lay out my drawing. Then paint!


I hope that helps explain things, but if you have any other questions let me know. It's easy-schmeasy! No water, no buckling, no drying time, no color shift. Go paint...


Sandy K
02-13-2007, 10:18 PM
thank you!

Deborah Secor
02-13-2007, 10:31 PM
You're welcome!


02-13-2007, 10:33 PM
I also want to Thank You!

David Patterson
02-13-2007, 10:45 PM
Thanks Deb!

Deborah Secor
02-13-2007, 10:51 PM
Happy to show you... :D


02-13-2007, 10:56 PM
Many many thanks for all you have shared with all of us! Thanks

Bhavana Vijay
02-13-2007, 11:16 PM
Oh! I would have never thought of that brush, I have so many lying around. Thank you!:)
I do have an unrelated and probably silly question. Do you paint with pastel over the charcoal? Doesnt it smudge? Ok I am assuming that you do a value sketch, if not then I get it.

Deborah Secor
02-13-2007, 11:22 PM
Not silly at all, Bhavana! Yes, I paint right over the charcoal. You can take a look at an article I wrote to see that process. How To See Underlying Shapes In A Painting. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/23609/460/) Take a look at page two to see my charcoal underdrawing and the layers of color going over it.


Bhavana Vijay
02-14-2007, 12:15 AM
What a great article Deborah, wonder how I've missed it all along. I've always wanted to try the value sketch but have not been too keen on using a fixative to fix it. Good to know that this works. Now to go find myself some extra, soft, thin, vine charcoal.:)

Lisa M
02-14-2007, 01:18 AM
Deborah--your helpful articles and tips are priceless! The linked article on values surpasses anything I've seen in an art book--thanks much for bringing it to our attention.

02-14-2007, 09:20 AM
you're a real peach for all the information you provide here deborah ... and all the trouble you go through to deliver it with pictures and wips ...:clap: :clap: :clap: and hats off to ya !!!

02-14-2007, 10:58 AM
i always hated charcoal til i got some with those four words--now i love love love that stuff! i think the best is that it can just be wiped off with a paper towel, and that it can do those values.

both the toning and the article with the doorway are certainly top notch! thanks deb, very kind of you indeed.

02-14-2007, 12:02 PM
:thumbsup: :clap: THANKS DEBORAH!!:clap: :thumbsup:

Rose Baggs
02-14-2007, 01:30 PM
Thanks for sharing!!!

02-14-2007, 02:16 PM

I take it that you use the foam brush dry? Have you tried 'wetting' the brush lightly and if you have, why don't you use it in that manner? Will TL's pipe insulation work as effectively as the brush? Why not 'attack' the paper with direct pastels - no underpainting at all? Love to 'pick' your 'brain'! Thank you sincerely..........PB15.4:cool:

Deborah Secor
02-14-2007, 02:35 PM
Hey PB, my friend--don't pick my brain too much--I'm running out of it! :lol:

I have worked with a wet foam pad brush, but frankly I'm just not that fond of wetting the paper at all, if I can avoid it. I like to use a soft wet paintbrush into or over pastels, then use soft, soft, softies into the slightly wet stuff for some very neat effects, but I most often work with a dry brush, yes.

If I'm doing any underpainting I prefer to use the Createx Pure Pigments, which take little water and result in stunning colors. I'll underpaint that way, then I go over with pastels. (Check out Kitty Wallis's forum for the details on this stuff. She showed it to us!)

Being frank again, I cannot STAND the sound or feel of that pipe insulation...so I don't experiment much. It's fingernails on the blackboard to me! :eek: I've seen some use it well, and have students who like it (but I won't let them use it in the classroom 'cause I run screaming!)

I often go at the white Wallis with no underdrawing, no underpainting, nothing but a light toning of some nothing color (just because that way I can erase it throughly with not much ghosting). I love to play from a pure color standpoint--I just thrill myself with the possibilities! Like a kid fingerpainting...in fact, not long ago someone here observed that pastels are for people who used to love to fingerpaint. That's me!


02-18-2007, 04:00 AM
Deborah, Just got back from holidays and just had to read through this very informative info. Thankyou for sharing and adding the threads for more info. Ruth