View Full Version : Question on paper

03-28-2009, 03:36 PM
I have up to now mainly used OPs on Oil canvas primed paper or pastel paper.

Is it ok to use Watercolour paper. I like the thickness and texture of these, and they tend to be heavier weigth than pastel papers. I use turpentine washes and it can make some pastel papers translucent, and they aren't very heavy.

I am concerned that if I use WC paper and apply washes that the Oil in the OPs may leach out when washed and rot the paper? Is this the case?

I havent' experimented with many papers with OPs. I've used black cartriudge paper without washes and either oil primed canvas sheet or ordinarpy pastel papers.

Any advice would help. I would like to be able to use smooth WC paper.

Pat Isaac
03-28-2009, 05:16 PM
Watercolor paper, is a very good support for OPs. However, if you are using oil washes, I would suggest putting down a layer of gesso first. This will protect the paper from the oil infusion. I put my gesso on with a foam roller as this puts down a really smooth layer.


03-28-2009, 05:28 PM
Thanks Pat.
I'll have to go buy some Gesso now.... unless 'Oil Primer' will do?

Pat Isaac
03-28-2009, 05:29 PM
I'm not sure. What is oil primer?


03-28-2009, 07:35 PM
Well, I havent' actually used it yet... was one of my Art Addiction Impulse buys lol

I saw a lot of Oilers mention it for using to prime heavy weave canvases to make them finer. Might be a type of Gesso thingy I guess lol.

Pat Isaac
03-28-2009, 07:43 PM
I'll look it up and see what I can find.


Pat Isaac
03-28-2009, 07:48 PM
I'd stick with the gesso as the oil primer looks as if it is just for oils and canvas.


03-28-2009, 11:03 PM
Hmm ok
I'll have to add it to my Art Supply order :P

Thanks for checking Pat :thumbsup:

truck driver
03-31-2009, 04:17 AM
you might also try the colourfix primer on WC paper... I was at art media yesterday looking at o.k. drooling over some 550lb cold press arches paper that looked like it would just be awesome for OP with some clear colourfix primer on it...


03-31-2009, 04:55 PM
Ooh I have some Arches I use for pencils.
Not sure on colourfix primer, it isn't something I have seen here.

Pat Isaac
03-31-2009, 05:14 PM
I have put clear gesso prime on 300 lb WC paper and it works just fine so I would think you could use colorfix. %%) lb WC paper...that must be awesome..


11-07-2009, 03:08 AM
Watercolor papers are totally awesome to use for pastels (I use Strathmore 140 lbs. paper). Though, I never been brave enough to use solvents on the paper mixed with the pastels.

But hey, we got gesso!

11-07-2009, 09:38 AM
Where would we artists be without GESSO

3 cheers for GESSO :clap::clap::clap:

11-26-2010, 07:21 AM
I usually paint watercolors, but sometimes while doing oil pastels, I use watercolor washes on watercolor paper to create the background colors and then overlay the oil pastels on it. The texture of the watercolor paper (I use rough) creates interesting effects on the paintings.

11-26-2010, 11:17 AM
wo welcome to OPers Sandeep. you shoudl join us on the Oil Gusher and get to know us.

Thanks for your input to this thread. I posted this when I first joined wc and was at a loss.

02-16-2011, 12:41 PM
you might also try the colourfix primer on WC paper... I was at art media yesterday looking at o.k. drooling over some 550lb cold press arches paper that looked like it would just be awesome for OP with some clear colourfix primer on it...


I have recycled some used Ampersand Pastel panels by coating them with Artspectrum Colourfix.


I have enjoyed the way that oil pastels can be layered on colourfix. You can blend an undertone and immediately go back over it, keeping the new colors separate if you wish. Separating layers when I want has been hard for me in oil pastels. I can more easily do "dry-brush" or "pointillism". I have some pre-coated colourfix paper that will try next.

Regards, Gary

Pat Isaac
02-16-2011, 05:16 PM
Nice use of the panels, Gary, though I do know some of the OP artists use the pastel board as a support just as it is. Be sure and post some of your paintings in the studio forum.


10-04-2012, 05:05 PM

This thread can go on for long time since it comes new papers and techniques.

You who use gesso what brand do you use? Is the clear gesso the same
as the white but just transparent or is it different in texture?

I have Galleria (think it was that name) and I used it on a watercolour paper
for painting with softies on.
I covered a board with the W&N artist quality gesso and it didnt have
the tooth that the galleria has. It was smooth so I prefer to use the oilsticks on it.

Do you prefer the AS colorfix paper or the supertooth paper of the AS?

10-05-2012, 12:40 PM
Hi Anna, glad to see you're getting active with our group.

Matisse background colors, (actually gesso) has a bit more tooth than the average gesso.

If I'm using a regular gesso, I'll mix in marble dust in the top layer of gesso to give me more tooth. No formula, I just mix in enough to feel gritty.

Clear gesso has a lot of tooth, too much for some of our artists.

I never paint on a white surface. I always tone my canvas or watercolor paper (hence the Mattisse background colors),

I also paint on Masonite (hardboard) and after sanding the smooth side, I'll paint the brownish surface with clear gesso to seal the surface but leave that warm brownish undertone.

Any brand of gesso should do, just add some marble dust.

I don't use any of the sanded papers, I think they're obscenely expensive.

If you can pruchase Colorfix Primer, you can paint it on matboard, illustration board, watercolor paper, museum board, masonite.

I also paint on canvas panels and will add colored gesso to that surface as well.

In summary, clear gesso gives good tooth and may be cheaper than colorfix primers in the long run. I haven't confirmed that as yet. It's just a gut feeling.

If you are one of the artists that do an underpainting before using oil pastels, clear gesso is just the thing for that process.

10-06-2012, 12:38 PM
Thank you Hal for your info.
I didnt know about the Matisse. Last night I ordered AS colourfix primer
to test it. I dont know if AS or Matisse has more tooth.

I have just started this question in the talk forum, didnt remember that I already had asked the question, I was up tooooo late at night.:)

So it is a different in price then, as I guessed. It is good to check how many papers or boards I can use the primer for so it would be easier to compare
the prices.

10-06-2012, 12:42 PM
Another thing Hal,
do you use to sanding the surface after applying the marble dust?

Is the surface more gritty when applying marbledust or pumice powder?
Do you have to sand the surface if using pumice?

10-06-2012, 10:48 PM
I don't sand after the layer of gesso with marble dust in it. It is pretty fine but I've found it adequate for my style of painting.

Pumice tends to be must coarser. There are an number of grades of pumice but I haven't found any as delicate as marble dust.

10-07-2012, 09:09 AM
I haven't found anywhere in the uk that sells marble dust. I've tried using fine craft sand in gesso but I got a really uneaven and horrid texture that was unworkable.

10-07-2012, 02:22 PM
Lin Have you tried hardware stores. It is used as a fine finishing abrassive. You can also try a finely ground pumice. Pumice come in many grades. Get the finest you can find. It still is a bit coarse but I have made it work.

Any sand will be coarser then a fine pumice.

10-08-2012, 11:21 AM
Lin if you get Matisse art products over there, they have jars of marble dust at reasonable prices.

10-12-2012, 07:31 PM
Cornelissen and Son ltd sell marble dust Lin, you need the finest grade which is much much finer than fine craft sand. It looks like flour and you'd think it would be too fine to provide any tooth but it gives the tooth without the bumpy texture. Here is a link.....they are really inexpensive compared with daler rowney who sell small 100g tubs for the same price as these guys sell a kg. http://www.cornelissen.com/marble-dust.html
I got the 2.5kg which is absolutely loads and lasts forever....bargain

10-12-2012, 09:45 PM
thanks, how much Steve and does it cost an arm and a leg to post?
Is it nice and fine and even? How do you apply it? When I applied mine with the craft sand it was very uneven leavin smooth areas... do you use a brush, roller or card?

10-24-2012, 12:31 AM
How well does Gesso work with Bristol?