View Full Version : How different is Colourfix paper to Wallis?

02-28-2010, 07:05 PM
So far the only sanded paper I have been able to buy is Art Spectrum colourfix paper, after looking at a recent thread asking about using fixatives and reading so many replies stating that you use good sanded paper like Wallis so don't need to fix your work I wonder how does colourfix paper fit into this discussion?

Since I can't find Wallis or Uart to compare could someone explain how much more texture(tooth) do these papers have compared to colourfix, am I missing out big time?

Thanks Deborah.

02-28-2010, 07:29 PM
Wallis is the Monster Toothy Paper. Think "sand." As in sharp gritty sand that will rip your fingerprints off and give you blood wash to mingle your pastels if you don't learn to use a Colour Shaper or chamois instead of your naked skin. That's the biggest difference I can think of.

Colourfix is a good sanded paper, it's one of my top three favorites. It comes in lots of colors, will hold plenty of layers (though I don't think anything beats Wallis for layering) and it doesn't really need fixative either. It's a good sanded paper.

Wallis is a monster sanded paper and unless you need over 25 layers to get the painting right, it's sort of going over the top. Some artists like Deborah Secor find it indispensible. I like it, but I like the other sanded papers too -- and Colourfix isn't quite as nasty on the fingers.

Colourfix has a fine grained tooth that lets me get some good details too. It's got bigger grit than something like Ampersand PastelBord.

One excellent advantage to Colourfix is that you can get the primer in Clear and do your underpainting on heavy watercolor paper, then prime it with two coats of Clear and it will shine through because it really is clear -- even the grit in it is clear. The primer's also available in all 20 colors so you have some beautiful choices for colors anyway.

I'm still planning sometime to do an underpainting by using multiple colors of the primer on watercolor paper and then pasteling, just block in broad areas with the primer colors and then go from there with pastels.

02-28-2010, 07:51 PM
Thanks for the quick reply Robert, that sounds scary :eek: and just how I had imagined the Wallis to be, I even got some sandpaper from the shed and tried it, I think it would eat my pastels up to quick!! I will be content with my colourfix for now.

The idea of doing an under painting appeals to me but I will have to go and buy some paint first:)

Thanks Deborah.

02-28-2010, 08:05 PM
Watercolor works great for underpainting. So do watercolor pencils and a wash. That's often what I use, but there are many ways to do it. Colourfix is one of my favorites and Wallis is something I use more rarely, though I enjoy it when I do.

Wallis does eat up the pastels faster than Colourfix does, and it wears out the Sofft tools for Pan Pastels faster than Colourfix or anything else. If you use Pans on Wallis, you need new socks on the knives per painting or sometimes before the painting's finished.

As you might expect, Art Spectrum pastels seem to work particularly well on Colourfix paper, so if you have those you might be in for a treat. I love the way they go together. Wallis is great for those super soft ones like Sennelier or Schminke that can fill up other tooth fast because it'll still hold more when it's stuffed solid.

Just don't ever finger blend on Wallis. lol

02-28-2010, 08:13 PM
Sandpaper from your shed is not the same....wallis is more like the stuff they use for very fine sanding,...600 or 400 grade...I'm not a DIY expert but I think it's like the one you can use wet or dry?

03-01-2010, 07:58 AM
Oh, no question about it, a Wallis doesn't need to be fixated, but a Colourfix does.

Wallis, and I presume Uart too, are more like true sandpapers, in that the grit is strewn on top of the 'glue' that holds it to the paper. While Colourfix and PastelMat have the grit mixed into a gesso-like substance, so they are way less abrasive.

And, if I'm not mistaken, Uart comes in much finer grits, from 400 to 800.

The more aggressive papers do eat pastels, up to a point where the tooth is starting to fill up, which is why many use cheaper and harder brands for the first layers, shifting to softer (usually more expensive) sticks towards the end.


03-01-2010, 09:42 AM
I've painted on both Wallis and Colourfix, and for me, I find the Wallis easier to use. I probably won't buy Colourfix again when I run out. For me, I find the Wallis gives me the ability to stay loose, or to get tighter, it is more versatile. With Colourfix, I have a hard time refining my painting if I want to. It must be the way I paint, or my style, because I haven't heard anyone else have this problem. I don't blend with my fingers, so blood :evil: is not an issue here! Like Charlie said, I also use my less expensive pastels in the beginning, especially when layering in a sky, then lay in the expensive ones. I also find that toning Wallis with a thin layer of Pan Pastels works well. I don't put much on, so my Sofft Tools sponges are still okay, though they are getting worn out.

I do like the Colourfix Primer for use on watercolor paper. For me, I like the hot press paper for priming and painting on, but if I sand cold press paper with a fine grit sandpaper before priming it, that works pretty well too. It is very different from Wallis, but at least I am able to use up the tons of watercolor paper I have and would have otherwise never used! My next purchase in paper will be Uart. I was told 400 grit is closest to Wallis, so I think that is what I will try.

03-01-2010, 10:16 AM
I never apply fixative to my Colourfix either Charlie... and I feel the feel of Colourfix is more like a heavily painted wallpaper...whereas Pastelmat feels velvety but it is in fact, I believe very fine fibres, which grab the pastel...and I can't see me applying fixative to that either. The only exception I've made is Bruce's portrait challenge where he used, and expected us to use watercolour paper.:D

03-01-2010, 10:42 AM
I didn't fix Colourfix first, but after comparing with the true sanded papers... I can't stand dark pastel dust on white mats...

Colourfix *is* like heavy wallpaper! :-) -- the kitchen variety. It is on watercolour paper, while the PastelMat is on card. If I'm correctly informed, Wallis pro is on card (that I know, I have it), and Wallis museum is on watercolour paper.

Oh, and how much falls off has to do with quality of sticks, too. Unisons 'cling' nicely, while hard stick's dust fall more easily.


03-01-2010, 05:29 PM
Thanks for all the replies, now I am even more curious to try Wallis :rolleyes:

03-01-2010, 09:01 PM
Hi there Deborah.. im only new to pastels.. but i much prefer Wallis over colorfix.. i find wallis has more of a consistent feel and with the licorice drawing i just did i blended with my fingers on that with no problems.. i think you just have to have enough pastel down before you blend maybe?..
I dont think i would use colofix over Wallis now unless i ran out.. i found colorfix frustrating...
Anyways long story short.. i see that you are in Australia also.. i dont know of any stockists of wallis in Aus.. and the paper i have i imported from dickblick in America..
but if you pm me your details i would be more than happy to mail you a sample of the wallis so you can see if you like the feel?