View Full Version : Question about Pastel papers

12-27-2002, 10:31 PM
HI all, hope you had a wonderful Christmas, we had 8 inches of snow and it was beautiful. Now just a big slushy mess.

Jackie has a question about papers, she has never tried colored pastel paper and is curious as too which paper most of you use and what you like about it.

She uses mostly Wallis Paper now, likes the way it can be wet and the tooth, but it seems to rip her fingers when she blends some. Also uses a lot of pastels in the back ground or as underpainting. So thought maybe you might have some ideas. She is not fond of Canson Mi-Tientes, not enough tooth.

Thanks for any help you can give.


12-27-2002, 11:45 PM
Ed....Jackie might want to try the art spectrum pastel primer that is available in many colors. I haven't used the primer myself, but have bought the already primed papers. When the primer is dry it produces a surface somewhat like Wallis but not nearly as sanded, therefore, a little easier on the ol hands when doing blending.

Here's a link to a site that discusses both the Colourfix Paper (already primed) and the Pastel Primer:


12-28-2002, 12:54 AM
I use Wallis paper all the time. I recommend you try using finger gloves, also called cots, to protect your fingers while blending. Both Dick Blickhttp://www.dickblick.com/zz352/06/products.asp?param=0&ig_id=4818 and Dakota Pastelshttp://www.dakotapastels.com/index_frames_misc.shtml sell them or you could just cut the fingers off of latex exam gloves and use them instead. Much easier on the fingertips.:)

12-28-2002, 01:16 AM
She might like to try out a velour mat board. They come in all kinds of colors from white to black. This is a velvet like surface which is used for matting watercolors, prints, or pastels...is a board, but takes pastels really well. I've only used a few small samples that I picked up for 50 cents a piece at a Michaels store. Blending is a dream! because the velour is so soft and its thick, so it holds a lot of pastel.

I also use regular mat board for my plein air painting. The rigid surface is nice to work on and the board holds several layers of color...depending on how heavy each layer is applied. This also comes in tons of colors. I don't do anything to prepare the surface...I just paint right onto it. This is also easy to blend on without eating away the fingertips!

I'm no expert with other papers since I'm really new to pastels. I'm ready to try my Wallis paper! There is a thread where Marsha explains how she prepares her Wallis paper to work on...sorry, maybe someone else will remember which one!

12-28-2002, 11:02 AM
For the most part I use Canson Mi-Tientes although I hate it with a passion. Too much tooth for me, gives a kind of rugged look to some things, which I suppose can be good at times, but I dont care for it much. My absolute favorite is the velour as mentioned above. It's like velvet. So smooth...and makes the colors look so vibrant. If I could it would be the only thing I would use. I think it's definatly worth the try....good luck!

12-28-2002, 11:17 AM
Try using the smooth side of the Canson Mi-Tientes if a smoother finish is desired. I also like the Stonehenge 245gsm papers,

12-29-2002, 03:53 PM
Ed and Jackie,

I use Wallis about half of the time, Canson (the smooth side) most of the other time. It keeps me honest! Canson cannot take as much pastel and so makes me use my brain a little more on the planning of the painting.

I love Wallis and blend by using the finger cots as suggested above. That is the only way to go. I learned the hard way when I nearly filed off my fingerprints. That hurts! You might also try using other things to blend -- such as the popcorn styrofoam that comes in packaging. I like using it as it does not leave as smooth a surface as your finger does. You get some really nice strokes from the blending -- somewhere between evenly smooth and a hint of strokes!

Regarding Carly's mention of preparing the Wallis surface: You of course know you don't have to do anything -- just start painting! If you want a color to paint on -- just use one of your hardest pastels (such as Nupastel) and cover the Wallis as much as you can with it. Then take a housepainter's brush (about 2 inches) and dip this in a small amount of turpenoid (turpentine substitute) and paint over the pastel -- this liquifies your pastel and creates an underpainting of that color. You can make it as smooth or as uneven as you wish - leave streaks or not. I then dry it by using a hair dryer -- not getting too close as you can burn the pastel, creating a brownish spot on the surface. If you do this, it won't really affect the painting, just gives you another color! You know you can use many different wet techniques -- as you mentioned in your first post.

Keep trying the Canson, as you will eventually like the differences in the papers. Also try the other papers, such as Arches Cover Stock, Art Spectrum, etc. Creating your own sanded surface as mentioned above is always an alternative.

Show us your work!

12-29-2002, 08:06 PM
Thank you all for the comments and advise, we are going to order a sample of Art Spectrum over the net from Jerry's artarama.
We have no art supply places with in 100 miles of here. They have a sample pack that has 16 colors with 16 sheets of 19.7x27.6.

I also am posting Jackie's lastest pastel entitled Lake Erie Sunset on this forum a little later tonight.

Thanks again,