View Full Version : Canson paper question

08-15-2010, 11:58 AM
Hello Guys!

I am wondering if both sides of Canson paper can handle the same number of pastel layers?



08-15-2010, 01:03 PM
technically, i would say yes
however there are lots of 'ifs'
- soft pastel over hard
- rubbing, blending methods
- brands you have
- pressure you use
- 'release' of the stick: even within brands, there are harder and softer sticks because of the source material for colour and formulas for toning/tinting
- use of fixatives after each layer
NOTE: any fixative with petrolium solvents/evaporants is best applied outdoors for health concerns

a common issue is the pores/pits/dots on the rough side, and how to get an even first layer to fill in the dots, so to speak, without filling/flattening the tooth of the paper

many people who present here use the smooth side only with great effect

hope that clarifies

:} Ed

08-15-2010, 01:45 PM
Hello Ed,

Ok, your explanation is very clear.



08-15-2010, 02:30 PM
ah, good, yvw
guessed you have Mi-Tentes sheets or a pad with pre-coloured paper
:} Ed

08-15-2010, 04:29 PM
Hi Sophie, welcome!

Actually, I suspect the smooth side takes more pastel, as the total surface of the amount of paper that is touched by pastel sticks is greater. And as generally it is quite difficult to get the dust down into the pits of the waffled side.

While some artists make 'magic' with the Canson Mi-Teintes, I usually recommend a sanded paper, they're much more forgiving and take so many more layers.

Happy painting,


08-15-2010, 06:58 PM
Hi Charlie,

Thanks for your answer. Would you recommand a particular sanded paper brand?


08-16-2010, 06:19 AM
Depends on where you live, Sophie. For the US, the most popular brands seem to be Uart and Wallis, the Colourfix, and the new Pastelmat. For Europe, we have Fisher 400 (UK), Pastelmat (not sanded, it has cellulouse fibres instead), Colourfix (AU brand, really). All these can be re-used after brushing and/or washing off pastel dust. Re-used many times, even, so in the long run they may be more economical. If you want to test how you like the sanded papers, use some very fine grit ordinary sandpaper from the hardware store. (Those will not be of acid free or archival quality, but you'll get the feel and find out if you like them.)

Many like the LaCarte, also named Pastel Card, by Sennelier. It can't take water, or even a sneeze.

All the above papers accept multiple layers of pastel (we're talking up to 20+ layers, depending on how light or heavy the stroke is, while Canson MT accepts about 3 to 6 layers), so one can simply paint over a mistake.

08-16-2010, 10:45 AM
Wow, very interesting! I think I will move to sanded paper. I live in Quebec, but I'm sure I can order some paper on the net.

08-16-2010, 02:43 PM
I did NOT like the Canson Mi-Tientes (a POX on it!!), so I got some sandpaper (400 grit) at a hardware store. Before I got to try it, I heard of Dakota's special on the CF cool paper (http://www.dakotapastels.com/pages/specials.aspx) and got a couple of packs.

Nice stuff. A lot better than Canson M-T! ;)


08-17-2010, 07:54 AM
Rich, thanks for the info. I think I will try that CF paper offered on Dakota's web site.