View Full Version : Advice For A Newbie To Colourfix

06-20-2007, 10:21 AM
Good morning everyone!

Well after watching what can be done with different pastel papers I finally decided to give it one more go. My past experiences have not been very succesful on paper, however on suedeboard I can do just about anything I want. Patrick Hedges' new work in the A&W forum finally sent me over the edge and so I ordered a pack of Art Spectrum Colourfix in cool tones to start with. Can you all offer me any advice to working with this paper, I have never used this specific kind, but after doing research on alot of different brands this seemed to be the best for me to try for the time being.

I'm a stickler for detail, so I'm going to try and be more open minded and loose to start with. I have some fixative running around here somewhere, but asides from sealing my charcoals have never really used it. Anything you all can offer would be great at this point, I'm hoping I can be better prepared and not get frustrated with it this time, but we'll see. Thanks everyone, any pointers you can offer please send them my way!

06-20-2007, 03:23 PM
When I use Colourfix I usually sand it down a bit (you can do it with the rough side of a two-sided sponge). Oherwise, I would find it too rough for me to blend.

I've really taken a liking to La Carte lately, which is a sanded paper with vegetable flakes providing the grit. It's easy on the fingers and you can get very smooth blends with it.

My second choice in papers is Wallis.

-- Linda

06-20-2007, 04:05 PM

If I'm not mistaken that paper is great to use but is extremely sensitive to moisture right? I looked at that a while back, but I'm not at the point where I am ummm delicate with my works so the more abuse it can withstand the better right now*lol*

06-20-2007, 06:18 PM
Yes, La Carte is very sensitive to water, so you have to be careful about that.

-- Linda

Kathryn Wilson
06-20-2007, 08:23 PM
Kristen - welcome to the pastel forum! As for suggestions on Colorfix, just try not too do anything to intricate at first. Bigger shapes and something simple in design - when you start to get a feel for what you can and can't do, then try something more detailed. Don't give up on it, it does take practice and trying new things.

If you want to get loose, try our Sketch Thread - work on something for just an hour, then post. It will really loosen you up. And try not to blend so much as layer your colors.

Also, try not to use fixative - it dulls and darkens colors.

06-20-2007, 08:50 PM
Hi Kristen,

From the papers I've tried (not many), Colourfix is my all-round fevorite.
I also like La Carte but I find that it demands a learning curve. What I like about La Carte is the brilliance and paint aspect that gives to pastel.
However I find difficult to erase on it.
I also like velour for certain works.
Colourfix, I like it for landscapes. I can scrub pastel I want to remove with a hard brush. I use a pointed colour shapper (grey) to help defining forms.
I won't say it's the best for detail, but I really like it.
The one has Wallis which is quite famous, but haven't tried.
And then you have people doing awsome works on watercolour, Canson and Stonehenge papers.
Colourfix supports water based and oil based painting.

Kind regards,


06-20-2007, 10:11 PM
Colorfix has become my favorite workhorse for pastels, both dry and oil. You can use turpenoid, alcohol, water, or mineral spirits to create a wash effect and it doesn't buckle. I've begun paintings with dry pastels, washed them out to create an underpainting for oil pastels, and it still holds layer after layer!

You're more likely to wear down your brushes than you are to wear out a sheet of Colorfix. And after rolling, you can lay it flat with a weight and it will flatten out nicely. I've purchased lots of sheets at discounted prices lately because the paper was curled, but all I had to do was weight it down flat to correct that.

Unlike Wallis, you can't dunk it in the shower.

You can also purchase Colorfix on a board substrate. I haven't used this yet but have some ordered for plein air painting this fall.


06-21-2007, 06:10 PM
Wow, thanks for all the tips. I'm really looking forward to getting my papers in and giving it a try.

Kathryn- Oh goodness loose for me is so hard, but I will give it a shot. I may just do simple shape and value studies to get me used to it.

Bringer- You know I almost ordered a set of shapers too, now I wish I had. I will keep this in mind down the road.

Carly- I almost ordered the board but I'll decided I'll just tape the paper to my masonite for the time being. I like the fact that you can alse order the colourfix 'grit' and apply it to whatever you want too. This give you a whole lot to work with in the future.

Linda- Great to know you can sand it down if need be.

While I am waiting for this to come in I have decided to get ambitous and do a full sheet (32x40) of a african scene, we'll see how this goes. I think I'm just going nutty at this point from working on a portrait that is not going in the right direction. So to get me away from that I decided to do a huge piece and I'm not doing any foundation sketches just starting raw on the board......I doubt this will be a WIP:cat: Thanks for all the tips ya'll!