View Full Version : Ampersand Pastelbord or Wallis

Mind of Harris
07-12-2007, 02:50 PM
Hello to all,

You all are great.
I enjoy this community

I've continued to read all the great posts tips, WIPs and techniques behind the bushes (there's such great work on WC/OP) as I try to finish some paintings for a couple of exhibitions coming up here in L.A. and surrounding areas.

My question is/was... Is the surface
of ampersand and/or Wallis simaliar to the surface of colorfix? I want to work on larger supports and notice it is sold in larger sheets/boards. I can only squeeze 18 x 24 out of the 19 x 27 that colorfix offers. I'd rather purchase the support instead of making my own at this point and time.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
I'll post my finished OP paintings soon.


Pat Isaac
07-12-2007, 04:19 PM
I only worked on Ampersand pastel board once, and the surface is a little rougher than colorfix. Wallis is very similar and I like it a lot. I do have to tone it as I like to work on a colored surface. I have recently done some work on Ampersand smooth clayboard and given it a few coats of colorfix primer. I really like working on the board.
Hope this helps.


Mind of Harris
07-12-2007, 06:15 PM
Thanks Pat!

Yes that does help. I wanted to know before i went out and purchased some.
Great tulips WIP! love the glass vase


Pat Isaac
07-12-2007, 06:40 PM
Thanks, Terry. Good luck.


07-12-2007, 06:49 PM
Pat has brought up toning her Wallis pastel board and I was wondering how others tone theirs. Cold teabags ? Yes, typically English ! I have done this with cooling the tone of canvases for some of my work (no, not ET !).
Kind regards,

07-12-2007, 07:07 PM
Wallis is the finest pastel paper ever! I only use Wallis gray in oil and soft pastels.....starting off in a middle tone seems to make the paintings fall into place better.

07-12-2007, 07:17 PM
I like and use both Colourfix and Wallis. The Wallis paper has a sanded surface which feels more abrasive than the Colourfix surface. I managed to "skin" the surface of my finger blending on Wallis, which has not happened on Colourfix. Jane

07-12-2007, 11:09 PM
MOH: Just a thought...

I understand that Sabretooth is now archival. It's a sanded surface that has been very popular with SP artists in the past, and comes in large sheets (22x30). I seem to recall that you preferred a very smooth surface, and the Dakota blurb on Sabretooth suggests it might be something you'd be interested in looking at: http://www.dakotapastels.com/paper_sabretooth.shtml
It comes in a variety of colors, too. I've never used it myself, but it seemed to me from the description that it may be closer to Colorfix than Wallis is.

Best wishes on those exhibitions (...more than one??? ...tell us more! :D), and I look forward to seeing your new paintings.

maggie latham
07-13-2007, 05:29 AM
I really think it depends on what technique you are going to be using, your style, and how many layer of pastel you use. I really like Wallis, but am going back to Ampersand to do a series of paintings. I like the fact that ampersand is archival, sturdy, non-warping and unlike Wallis you don’t have to spend more money on a board to mount it to. I’ll post my comments further when I have experimented with it again.

Pat Isaac
07-13-2007, 07:48 AM
I tried some sabertooth, last year when I was experimenting with different papers. For me, I didn't like it as it had too much tooth. The texture got in my way. I have never mounted my papers, but I can see why people do especially if you are not matting them. One reason I like the boards.


07-13-2007, 08:49 AM
Pat: Aahh, well, I'm glad you tried Sabretooth then. The Dakota description makes it sound as if it's similar to Colorfix...

Hey, MOH, I just noticed that Dakota carries Colorfix in a 27.5" x 39" sheet! If that's your preferred surface (it sounds as if it may be from your initial post), then problem solved. :) Here's the link: http://www.dakotapastels.com/paper_artspectrum.shtml

Pat Isaac
07-13-2007, 10:11 AM
Wow, I'll have to check that out. I had always wished that it came in larger sizes.


Mind of Harris
07-13-2007, 03:08 PM


Thanks for the link (problem is solved) that’s just what I was looking for. Wow! Never heard of Dakotapastels until now!
Yes that is my preferred surface. Looks like Pat and I, and other OP members.. may have another alternative when it comes to painting BIG with colorfix.

Most likely I would/will cut it down to 24 x 30 or 24 x 36.
I would still like to experiment with Wallis and ampersand though, since there’s a lot of talk about it on the OP forum.

Does anyone have the same problem I have when applying Sennelier WHT on colorfix “Blue Haze” paper?
It seems to be a bit transparent on that color paper and I’ve ruined a couple of sheets. Or is a matter of applying three or four coats of white?
C&C welcome

Why 6 is afraid of 7? / Almost completed, you may have to click on the top one.

WIP – Holy Mackerel / I couldn’t quite get this photo to come out right, but you get the picture.
The white areas on the bank will be darker and of course the reflection from that little piece of sun shining through
will be added. From there….. any suggestions? I’ll try and add a clearer photos later.

C&C welcome please….

Thanks Annie,
The exhibition(s) one titled Artistbythesea (Aug 5th) is an exhibit on the one of the piers (a lot of exposure) here near the coast of L.A. (South Bay to be exact) and there’s also an exhibit at a Cultural Arts Center (in Sept) that I’ve been invited to. I’ll be displaying most of my oil paintings I finished before I discovered WC. I do have three OP paintings to display and hope to have more finished by the CAC exhibit and hope to represent us oilpastelists even if it’s in a surreal way!

Thanks again for everyone’s help


Pat Isaac
07-13-2007, 04:00 PM
I remember these number paintings. Very creative. I also have trouble applying Senn white to a dark color first. It does appear transparent, but I ususally let it set up a few days and add more layers, then it is fine. If you could start with a light color first and then add the white, it helps.
I really like the sky in holy mackerel. The painting made me smile.


Mind of Harris
07-13-2007, 04:13 PM
Thanks Pat

I usually have trouble with white when trying to do skies (gradition from blue to white) or clouds.
I do perfect clouds in oil paints, but I cannot transfer that techniques over to OP. I'll try the lighter color method.....

Thanks again


07-13-2007, 06:12 PM
I'm glad the Dakota link was helpful.

"Why 6 is afraid of 7" is looking really good. You've achieved an amazing realism with the bed, and the lighting throughout works well. I love 6's little hand and the eye. I think 7 should have a fork. :lol: You say you've had a problem with skies, but it sure isn't apparent in either of these. I'll be looking forward to seeing the progress on the "Mackerel" painting, which looks good so far.

Congrats on the two exhibits; both sound like good ones. It's great that you'll be showing your OPs! I hope you'll give us a report when your paintings are up. I'm curious, MOH, do you post oil paintings here at WC too? (I'd love to see them.)

Mind of Harris
07-13-2007, 06:52 PM
Hey AnnieA

Thanks again glad you like them.
When I mentioned skies I meant trying to paint them in a daytime setting.
blue skies /clouds. So far I can't achieve the realism I'm looking for like in my oil paintings.

I'll post "Holy Mackerel" in its own little post after I add more.

If you are asking if I've posted my oil paintings on WC Oil painting? No, I haven't. :confused: Since this is where I reside :wink2: I only post my O Pastels here. I had thought about showing some but thought since this is Oil Pastels members would not be interested. Plus I wanted to stick to the medium/OP forum. The oil paintings are a bit more surreal but humorous too.

BTW nice hallway floor….. You’re good!


07-22-2007, 06:41 PM
One way I work on colored surfaces when I want a white to be more opaque, is to use a Prismacolor "stick" on its side over the surface before I put down the oil pastel. Prismacolors don't fill up the tooth at all when applied like a 'glaze'.


07-22-2007, 06:58 PM
As a matter of curiosity, has anyone used ordinary sandpaper (of any grade) for their pastel work ? I know this may sound eccentric, but when I first started in soft pastels, I experimented on various types of sandpaper and this helped me a lot. It was good dicipline because now I can work on nearly all types of pastel grounds.
Needless to say, it is a good idea for beginners who are not sure about pastels and they can experiment without spending a lot of money on a medium that might not be to their liking in the end. There is no need to use expensive pastels to experiment with sandpaper. One can upgrade to better quality pastels and grounds if the medium suits them; at least this way, there will be no wasted papers/boards and hundreds of unwanted pastels.

Kind regards,

Pat Isaac
07-22-2007, 07:08 PM
When I was teaching in the elementary schools in town, I used to go to the local sandpaper factory and get their samples to use for projects in the classroom. I had all kinds of grades, and they worked well for the projects, but they did use a lot of pastel of both kinds. What worked the bes were the OPs and on the finer grade. However, none of the papers I used can compare to the sanded papers now. It is a whole different animal, but it certainly is a good way to see what you might like.


07-22-2007, 08:45 PM
Eggy: Someone else here at WC posted a long time ago that for students, 3M brand wet-dry extra fine grit sandpaper worked OK in a pinch. I bought some but haven't tried it yet. It's black in color and feels closest to the texture of Colorfix, although as Pat says, it's not really the same. I think it was $4.99 for several 8x10 or so sheets. But the thing to remember is it isn't archival and so the work done on it won't last, and it has the additional drawback of not coming in any larger size.

07-22-2007, 10:13 PM
Annie, I made my suggestion for those who are not sure about trying pastels and going to the expense of buying pastel papers/boards and expensive brands. They can experiment with the cheaper pastels on sandpaper just to get the feel and texture. Emery paper is cheap and worthwhile trying.
I never said that it should be used with expensive pastels or that it should be used for permanent work.

Kind regards,

07-23-2007, 12:05 AM
Eggy: :confused: I'm not certain how you came to think I was saying that you thought sandpaper was for use with expensive pastels or permanent work. I was agreeing with you, not criticizing. I guess I always feel a need to issue strong disclaimers when I myself make suggestions that are a little unconventional, as I want to make sure people are aware of the drawbacks. The disclaimers weren't directed at you, but were offered so that any newbie reading what I wrote, and wanting to try wet-dry sandpaper as a result, would be well aware that sandpaper is best used only on a "try-out" basis.