View Full Version : Can you tone Canson?

05-21-2010, 09:51 AM
I recently did a piece on Canson and found myself blending alot to get the little white dots out. I used the reverse side of Canson. I usually use wallis and tone it with a acrylic wash. Can you do the same with Canson? If so, how would you go about it? Water or alcholo wash or something else?

One more question, please, how many paintings of a subject matter do you need to do before it is considered to be a series? thanks for the help, james

05-21-2010, 10:40 AM
Canson has a tendency to buckle when it has been wettened but by all means try it as an experiment on a scrap.

...but I'm curious as to the need to tone Canson MT as it comes in so many colors and you are in no way limited to white.


05-21-2010, 01:50 PM
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I know Canson came in different colors, I just did not plan ahead and used what I had which was white. Next time, I'll get the right color. thanks again, James

05-21-2010, 02:47 PM
Another thing you might try doing is toning it with a stick of pastel and rubbing it in across the whole surface without using anything wet like alcohol wash. If you then get rid of the excess pastel with a razor or just by bashing it on the back, you should be able to get several more layers on without seeing all those pesky white spots.


05-21-2010, 03:59 PM
One of the underpaintings that Richard McKinley demos is what he calls a Field Sketch and I call a Papertowel Underpainting. You can easily smush in pastel scribbles using a papertowel and then put pastel on top.

05-21-2010, 04:06 PM
i have pads of Canson sketch, Dessin, watercolour; all white.
compared to the Mi-Tentes; it's economical.
to make an undercolour, i'll do what Luana said with one important consideration:
without fixing the pastel it will affect every other pastel laid on top of it, so think about the overall colour scheme of the piece.
if there are strong compliments/accents, like orange over blue, leave the white paper untouched where the orange, or blue if the other way around will go.
a soft packing peanut, or paper towel, can disburse a scumbling of a stick/colour over the raw white without crushing the tooth of the paper, and can suggest interesting possibilities, but keep in mind that deepest values will lighten and lightest values will diminish.
this method works well with your softest pastels first - they give better pigment release to the paper/tooth, with a gentle touch.
hope that helps.
:} Ed

05-22-2010, 02:18 AM
I apply the under color I want in pastel and rub it into the Canson paper with a paper towel. Then I thump the paper good to get the loose dust off and apply a bit of fixative. To apply the fixative I spray a bit on the back of the paper to counter any paper curl, then flip it over and tape it down on a flat surface and apply fixative to the side with the pastel on it. I've done this a number of times and it works well.


05-22-2010, 10:38 AM
Rob, welcome! That is a great idea!

05-22-2010, 12:27 PM
Thanks Charlie, it's nice to be welcome.


05-22-2010, 07:22 PM
I have had some success doing a pastel underpainting washed with mineral spirits. Water tends to make the fibers of the paper swell. Try it. You really don't have anything to lose.

05-23-2010, 01:08 PM
Thanks a lot for all the suggestions. I will give them all a try and see which works best for me. thanks again, james