View Full Version : Pasteling over buckling wallis paper

01-30-2010, 03:26 PM
I was having a ball using the Createx Pure Pigments as area washes on my wallis paper, but i was so excited, that I was lazy and failed to tape down the paper while doing it.......Now it is buckling and I have been trying to draw over it, which makes the pastel uneven when you try to drag color over the ripples.......

Any suggestion what to do mid-drawing?

sandra burshell
[email protected]

Paula Ford
01-30-2010, 05:32 PM
Place the piece flat, face up, on a nice hard surface, cover the painting with glassine or tracing paper and stack heavy books on it and wait a couple of days. I know that's probably not much help because when you're in the mood to paint, you want to paint. That's the only suggestion I have.

01-30-2010, 06:17 PM
Just to add to Paula's suggestion (I have lived this nightmare more than once before), you might want to lightly spray water to the back of the Wallis paper, just to dampen it slightly, place a piece of paper towel (to absorb any excess water) on a piece of lucite, put on the floor (or table), place your Wallis paper face up, then cover with glassine or tracing paper, and stack heavy books on it. It will take a few days for it to dry, but it will be flat, and you will have preserved your color washes. You can pastel without worry. You don't need much water to do this, just a light spray. If you use lucite, there will be no worry about the water damaging anything (i.e., wood floor, table, etc.). I have even done this and placed on a carpeted floor, and it worked. The Lucite serves as the nice hard surface. All is not lost, the Wallis paper is pretty indestructible!

Deborah Secor
01-30-2010, 09:14 PM
Gosh, you all are just so nice and careful. Well, maybe that's important if you have a painting halfway done...but I usually spray it lightly with water, spritz the back and restretch it the way Kitty descibes (below)... it always flattens out once it's dry--and I use the Pro grade. The museum might be easier to flatten, if that's what you have.

Another question - do you mount your paper on matboard first??...doe

-No I don't mount it. I tape it to my easel board. I do use this method on location, taping it to my foamcore board.

-My paper isn't taped like watercolor paper, since it's so heavily compressed to run through the coating mill. It expands more and shrinks back more than watercolor paper. I do not tape along the entire edge, the paper will expand on the tape, look corrugated and be prevented by the tape from flattening again.

-I use 2 pieces of tape no longer than 4" at each corner. The first piece is applied to the BACK, leaving 1/4" protruding from the side, a 1/4' x4" tab. The second piece is taped to that tab and attaches the paper to the board, leaving the entire surface free of tape. Tape doesn't stick well to the sanded surface, so this creates a more firm attachment.

-When the underpainting is done, but still wet, I lift the bottom two tapes from the board and stretch the paper across the bottom and down ftom the center of the paper. Repeat with the top two tapes. Don't pull too hard, It won't look entirely flat when it's stretched, but it will continue to shrink as it dries and will dry flat.


Phil Bates
01-31-2010, 11:34 AM
Just FYI (in case you didn't already know), for future paintings you won't have to deal with any stretching or chance of buckling if you use Wallis that is dry-mounted on conservation board. Both Dakota (http://www.dakotapastels.com/pages/paper-dakotawallis.aspx) and Central Art Supply (http://www.centralartsupply.com/contact.htm) carry pre-mounted Wallis and UArt.

Another advantage to using pre-mounted paper is that framing without a matte becomes much easier. You just cut to size and slip inside the frame (behind spacers and glass, of course). No hassle with trying to figure out how to mount a pastel that is cut right up to the edge.


02-01-2010, 10:24 AM
Thank you all for your advice - the weighting overnight did work - no need to wet the back.

I have used both grades of wallis paper (without taking the time to notice the difference) -and I have already cut them up and don't know which is which - IS THERE ANYWAY TO TELL NOW? (if there is nothing printed on the back).


(now that I have figured out how to use Wetcanvas and seeing how well and quickly people respond, it is a godsend!)

sandra burshell

Deborah Secor
02-01-2010, 12:16 PM
The Museum is slightly heavier feeling, since it has an extra coating, and it's got a bit more 'give' to it when I roll it in my hand. I find the Museum to be ever-so-slightly more gritty, and thus choose the Pro most of the time. I like the feel of that surface. In actual point of fact, I don't think the pastel applies differently, but the surface feel under my fingers is just slightly different... It's hard to describe.

Anyone else? Maybe there are others with more careful observations than I have!


02-01-2010, 12:21 PM
I find the Pro to have a bit more agressive tooth than the Museum grade. I'm guessing it's due to the extra coat of gesso on the front of the later. There is a definate difference in the stock the two are made on as Deborah noted above.

Deborah Secor
02-01-2010, 04:06 PM
I misspoke! I agree with Mike--the PRO is a little toothier. That's why I use it. Sorry to confuse.