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View Full Version : Canson Mi-Teintes...Love it or Hate it?


Karen Margulis
01-10-2012, 12:15 PM
I haven't been active here for awhile but I peek in when my schedule allows. I have experienced a change of heart regarding Canson paper and I am curious to hear your thoughts. When I began using pastels, like many I bought some Canson Mi Teintes and NuPastels and Rembrandt pastels. I struggled and was frustrated with this combination. Once I discovered softer pastels and sanded paper I never gave Canson another look. Recently I have been inspired to try Canson again and I have fallen in love with it! I will still use sanded paper when I want to do a wet underpainting but I am really enjoying Canson. Here is a recent painting on Canson Moonstone 11x14

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jan-2012/53551-003_5.JPG

I have written a more detailed review of Canson Mi-Teintes paper on my blog and I will be reviewing the new Canson Touch this week if you'd like to read more.
So.....how do you like Canson paper? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Karen

Colorix
01-10-2012, 01:02 PM
Karen, beautiful loose landscape!

I'm experiencing something similar. I've recently done a couple of works on Canson Mi-Teintes (the smoother side), and with the right pastel (Unison, Sennelier, Girault, in this case), I find that it works really well (with no fixative, even). I'm not yet at the point of loving the Canson, but it looks entirely possible to come to think of it positively.

Cheaper and harder pastels are great with the sanded and expensive papers, and expensive softer pastels are great with the inexpensive papers.

And if beginners come from oil or acrylics, then I recommend cheap pastels and expensive papers. As I think it is a question of having less frustration when starting (and the papers can be reused many times), more ease when learning.

An experienced artist seems to be able to do magic with inferior materials. I've even seen a portrait painted with different colours of lipstick, and it worked! Or artists who take crayons and watercolour made for children and paint beautifully.

Ruthie57
01-10-2012, 01:17 PM
I neither love nor hate canson. I like it though, now that I realise it requires a different approach to the sanded papers. I certainly wouldn't write it off. A bonus is that there are so many colours, including black.
I love your canson landscape!

Donna A
01-10-2012, 01:18 PM
Absolutely lovely painting, Karen!!! The two problems with Canson Mi-Tientes is that the colors of the papers fade terribly!!! (except for the palest colors!) and it is not a rag paper and has wood pulp as a significant amount of it's body! I know of several excellent pastelists who had used Canson until they discovered this fact. One of them uses the Canson Mi-T only to back his paintings since he learned of this fact and checked it out with fade tests himself! Another friend of mine from North Dakota came into town one weekend some years ago with her gorgeous paintings to show at our Kansas City Plaza Art Fair. She showed me one of her paintings and said that she covered up the Canson totally. I pointed out alllllll the places I saw her burgundy red paper showing thru the pastels. And then I showed her the test pieces that John Roush had passed on to me after his tests which confirmed that the paper faded.

I think a lot of people believe that they have covered up every smidgin of paper, but please don't count on it. If you don't mind the paper eventually disintegrating under the pastels, what about the fading the paper color will definitely go thru changing the look of your painting in the meantime!!!

Now---not everyone cares. I know. A dear friend of mine in an adjoining state happily agreed to have me send him the 250 sheets of Canson Mi-Tiente that I had received as part of a prize in an art exhibit.

For me---no Canson. I want my paintings to stay the way I painted them! Very best wishes! Donna ;-}

Karen Margulis
01-10-2012, 01:25 PM
Thank you Ruthie! Thank you Donna! I appreciate your comments about the paper fading and the wood pulp. I was aware of that but had forgotten. I will add that to my review! I only use the pale colors but I will certainly have to give your information some thought! Thank you!!

Barbara WC
01-10-2012, 02:00 PM
I love Canson Mi-teintes, with some caveats. Like Charlie, I find the right pastel needs to be used- I like Unisons and Rembrandts on Canson, but hate using my Ludwigs and Senneliers on it, theyd don't seem to stick.

I like both sides for portrait painting, but mainly use the smooth side. PastelMat is my favorite for portraits, but still like Canson for shorter poses (I only use PastelMat for 3 hour portrait sessions).

I am aware of the fading issue, but since I don't use the paper color as an integral part of the portrait, I don't really care if it fades in the future, if that makes sense.

johndill01
01-10-2012, 03:03 PM
Like many others, I started with Canson M-T and soon switched to other sanded papers. Occasionally I would pick up some M-t and try it again, only to put it away for another time. Then in November of last year I attended a workshop with Lorenzo Chavez and watched him paint beautiful pictures on M-T and then encourage others in the workshop to try the paper. After much self debate, I ordered a set of Rembrandt pastels and was much surprised at the difference the pastel stick made in painting on M-T. Since then I have painted a number of paintings on the M-T (both sides) and am very happy with the results. Especially considering the difference in price between M-T and the sanded papers. I particularly use the M-T for life painting sessions on a weekly basis, as this is the paper I used on my first portrait many years ago. With the proper pastels the paper is a delight to use.

It is my personal observation that selecting the proper pastel for use on any paper is critical to the success obtained. I have many more Ludwig, G-A's and MV's than any other type and there is IMHO a definite place to use each one.

John

mercbill
01-10-2012, 03:16 PM
If you like the colors of Canson-mi teintes there is great news. Canson just introduced Mi-Teintes Touch, an acid free, archival, sanded surface paper and board for pastel artists. This new pastel product is made in 14 of the most popular Mi-Teintes pastel paper colors. The fine, micro abrasive coating is screen printed on to the paper and board. The sanded primer is wonderfully suited to direct application of pastel and will also allow the use of water, solvent and alcohol wash techniques. Dakoyta Art has it in stock.

sketchZ1ol
01-10-2012, 04:16 PM
hello
i like the Mi-Tentes white ;
i can disburse colour/undercolour into it
without wetting , and the tooth is sturdy
if you don't have a hard hand
and like to work on paper .

textured surfaces are altogether different .

Ed :}

SherryC
01-12-2012, 06:49 PM
I am too new to pastels and too heavy handed so I do not like it at all. I use scraps of it to test color or practice strokes. I make my own sanded paper and love it.

IMaybe
01-12-2012, 09:00 PM
:clap: Hi Karen, and everyone! Had to loggin to say, as I always say . . .I Love Canson!! Always have. I can streched it like watercolor paper and do wet washes on it---I can stretch it and do inda ink value paintings on it , then go over that with pastel----I also strech it and paint in gouche and/or watercolor on it - - -and I even do just pastels on it. Very versitile!!

I also attended a workshop with Lorenzo chavez, who paints just beautifully on it, He likes the moonstone, as do I, for landscapes. Last summer I attended a workshop with Bill Cone who uses tobacco and twlight Mi Tientes - - -both are wonderful in the landscape, and the tobacco is surprizenly good for underwater scenes, etc....... you must just do it, plan well, and do it. The softer pastels are great on it , especially at the last--I still begin with the harder ones, then use the softer ones. I even used small grit sand paper to ruff it up some times. Doug Dawson does wonderful things on it, as does Harley Brown!!!! Desmond Haggen, and many others, its got some problems aith the reds fading, and the purples and some others - - -but its great paper that has stood the test of time in my books.

mollerman
01-12-2012, 09:19 PM
We are not talking about the old "Canson Mi-Tientes" but a new product "Mi-Tientes Touch". It sounds as though there are many differences in the two papers. I was not aware of the new product until now and it sounds very interesting and of course the results Karen has had is a testimony to producing beautiful work. Since the paper claims to be archival, my ears have perked up considerably! I am not a big fan of the "Mi-Tientes", not liking the textured surface but this new "touch" sounds as though it has a much different surface to work on which has me standing at attention. It also sounds like it is a heavier paper and accepts washes within reason. I will not hesitate to give it a fair test and look forward to playing around with the new Canson. Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention Karen.

Devonlass
01-12-2012, 10:04 PM
I'm curious.....I have never liked Canson Mi-Tientes, but I recently purchased two pieces of Canson board which I was hoping I would like, but it is mounted so that the honeycomb surface is the working surface, and I took an immediate dislike to it. Is the Canson Mi-Teintes Touch yet another Canson product?

pastel lover
01-12-2012, 10:05 PM
Hi Karen,

This is a gorgeous painting! Did you say you did it on the "old" Canson MT with the smooth & textured sides or the "new" Canson Touch? I really love your painting. I love MT smooth side for portraits. I have used it for years & never had any fading problems, of course, most of my portraits are done lt grey or tan & not hang in sunlight. I use it for portraits but I haven't used for landscapes, etc.

Tanja

pastel lover
01-12-2012, 10:05 PM
Hi Karen,

This is a gorgeous painting! Did you say you did it on the "old" Canson MT with the smooth & textured sides or the "new" Canson Touch? I really love your painting. I love MT smooth side for portraits. I have used it for years & never had any fading problems, of course, most of my portraits are done lt grey or tan & not hang in sunlight. I use it for portraits but I haven't used for landscapes, etc.

Tanja

pastel lover
01-12-2012, 10:05 PM
Hi Karen,

This is a gorgeous painting! Did you say you did it on the "old" Canson MT with the smooth & textured sides or the "new" Canson Touch? I really love your painting. I love MT smooth side for portraits. I have used it for years & never had any fading problems, of course, most of my portraits are done lt grey or tan & not hang in sunlight. I use it for portraits but I haven't used for landscapes, etc.

Tanja

mollerman
01-12-2012, 10:29 PM
The fading issue may be different depending on colors. I have worked in the vinyl business and saw reds turn to pink, yellows fade to white and blues hardly fade at all. Sealed under glass and away from direct sunlight will also prolong life. I am not exactly sure what archival means? 100 years? More? If it is like everything else it seems where the standards have been lowered just to pass being acceptable? You should see the water the city expects us to drink which meets the "standards" of acceptability! I won't give it to my cat without filtering! I have art work that has been stored for almost 40 years. The work hasn't faded but the paper may have yellowed, dried out and become slightly brittle... not pastel paper.

Karen Margulis
01-12-2012, 10:41 PM
Wow! My thread came back! I'm glad I checked in tonight. Thankyou to everyone for your comments. I am learning more! I will have to try the Tobacco and Twilight as well as watercolor and stretching. Thanks for the tips!
To clarify I am talking about the old regular Canson Mi-Teintes paper and not the new Canson Touch. The painting in this thread is on the regular canson. BUT I have been working on the new Touch and I wrote a review in my blog. I will post some of the paintings done on the new paper (I am liking it!)
Karen

RobD
01-13-2012, 12:11 AM
Beautiful painting Karen. I really like the texture you created with the pastel strokes and the color harmony works well. Very nice work.

I also like using Canson Mi-Tientes. I especially like using it plein air because I can carry several colors with me and pick the color that I feel works best for the subject. It's simple surface to use, just clip it on the board and start pushing dust around. I mostly use Mt. Visions and they seem to work well with the Canson paper. I've also had good luck stretching it and applying a gesso and pumice ground to it. All around I find it a very cost effective and versatile surface.

Rob

jeaneade2001
01-13-2012, 07:13 AM
Hi Karen,

Love the painting, no matter what the support under it!

I suspect the Mi Tientes Touch is an equivalent paper to the My Tientes 'Tex' that Canson trialled here in Australia a couple of years ago. (Maybe even a bit longer.) I do use the 'Tex', mainly because it's more readily available locally than Colourfix, but I find it doesn't hold as much pastel as Colourfix and is not nearly as robust when I try to correct mistakes, whether by rubbing, using colour shapers or stumps, or washing.

Having said all that, I DO like the 'Tex' for portraits, because I'm not as heavy-handed at them, and the finer sanded texture gives a nice finish to the skin. And I have played around with the water-soluble sticks on it, and as long as I don't saturate it it holds together fairly well.

Maybe Canson have improved on the trial version we can get here?

jackiesimmonds
01-13-2012, 08:59 AM
I have used Mi Teinte paper for years, never have any problems using it, but yes, the darker colours do fade.

I recently wrote a whole review of the new Canson MT Touch for The Artist magazine. Superb product. However, whether the darker colours fade like the paper, only time will tell. Takes a while for any fading to occur.

Jackie

Dcam
01-13-2012, 10:30 AM
I have a lot of paintings on Canson Mi teintes and I can't say I love it or hate it. I really dislike the pitted side (unsmooth). Not too worried about fading because I usually use a very pale color like pale rose, gray, or white. looking forward to trying the Canson touch.

:) Drek

Karen Margulis
01-13-2012, 10:36 AM
I am enjoying reading about everyone's experiences. I will have to try the gesso and pumice. I have done that to the MT boards but not the paper.
Jackie...I will have to find a copy of the Artist Magazine to read your review!

Colorix
01-13-2012, 10:50 AM
Hm, a vanished post, again. It ain't over 'til it's over, clearly.

Canson did say on their website a couple of years ago that the black MT isn't colourfast. One vignette on black hangs on my mother's very sunny livingroom wall. In three years the paper has gone from deep black to medium black. I mean, it is still definitely black, just not *as deep*. It is not grey, either.

allydoodle
01-13-2012, 02:31 PM
Beautiful painting Karen!

I actually love Canson Mi-Teintes paper. It's what I learned on, and I'm still comfortable using it. I did a quick still life sketch this week, as well as a portrait charcoal sketch using it.

I just gave a lesson this morning, and I actually insisted that my student work on a still life "from life" using Canson paper. I felt that Canson paper would help her to understand how to manipulate the pastels and figure out technique a bit. It turned out to be a good idea, she did well. I think in the beginning stages, especially if you are taking lessons with someone that understands and works with Canson paper, it is a great idea. I think we will continue on this path for a while, and skip the sanded papers. The results were better for her and I think she learned a lot.

As far as fading, I have quite a few paintings done on Canson in frames, and I haven't noticed any fading. Because I use many of the same colors I always have a few pieces around, and when I compare the new sheets to what is in a frame I don't see a problem. I have also heard that the black fades, but I haven't used black so I haven't seen it first hand.

I think it's a great paper to use both for quick sketches as well as finished pieces. I do use the darker colors for portraits in a weekly workshop, and still life, mostly quick sketches, so I guess I will have to watch closely and see if I detect any fading, but none so far. And many of my paintings done on Canson are over 10 years old. I like the ability to switch back and forth between Canson and sanded surfaces, it's fun and keeps the creative juices flowing!

scall0way
01-21-2012, 11:21 PM
I started out on Canson, and had a love-hate relationship until I learned I could use the smooth side to paint on! Once I discovered that I did lots of stuff on Canson. My only objection was the flimsiness of the paper. I just heard about the Canson Touch today at the startup meeting of a new pastel society I went to, and am curious to know more about it. Lately I've been mostly using Art Spectrum - but I would love to find a surface that was a little harder and more durable, but also affordable! One thing I do love about the Mi-Teintes paper is the price. :D

robertsloan2
01-22-2012, 03:24 PM
I started out on Canson Mi-Tientes and bought what must have been reams of it when I was living in New Orleans doing portraits on the street. It was copious, it was better than sketch paper for holding my Grumbacher pastels, I took it for granted as pastel paper.

I can remember I wasn't that concerned about lightfastness. My favorite pastels at the time were Nupastels too and I didn't know that some of those faded. Nupastels on Canson Mi-Tientes is a great combination, also the medium-soft ones like Rembrandt go well on it.

I came back to pastels shortly after joining WetCanvas and discovered sanded pastel papers and boards from everyone here. Once I discovered what I could do with sanded papers I abandoned it for some time... till I started getting into it again for sketching. The texture is great, especially on the non-honeycomb side. Certain colors like Moonstone always appealed to me.

Karen, I love that painting. It's a gorgeous landscape and I can see Moonstone was that inspiring to you too. I hope Moonstone is one of the more lightfast colors. If I get a place that's got a sunny enough window I might try to put up tiny swatches cut from the swatch spinner Blick sent me and see what fades and how badly over a year to know which colors are safer.

I find myself wishing that Canson would reformulate their non-lightfast colors replacing them with lightfast variations, and that Sanford would do the same thing with Nupastels because the Nupastel texture is so great.

Colourfix rapidly became my favorite sanded paper because of its range of colors. I like the new Mi-Tientes Touch and hope those are lightfast, would like to get all of the colors in that just the way I bought Rainbow Packs in Colourfix. It's got a beautiful texture just a little bit finer grained than Colourfix and a good range if not the enormous range the original paper has.

I'd love to find out if other non sanded pastel papers have better lightfastness. I've tried Strathmore Artagain with good results and Fabriano Tiziano with good results. There are sanded papers and unsanded papers. I use different techniques on the unsanded ones but like them both. If I knew which ones were lightfast (or which M-T colors were), then I'd be more likely to buy that brand or those colors in future.

Anne Bour
01-23-2012, 10:55 AM
The advice I can give you is to try several papers ( pastel mat, Art Spectrum,Card among others), without forgetting the Canson paper, as you can with experience, learn to enjoy it. It is a curious paper, I admit, but many good artists like the spanish Fuentetaja, use of this pastel paper. So it must be good!

Pippa
01-23-2012, 11:39 AM
I love Canson! I love the colours, the price, and the effects you can achieve with it.

I find it works well for portraits and animals in particular. In general, I find it works well when you know exactly what you are doing and exactly how you are going to achieve it in 5 layers of pastel or less. So, I do not find it's a paper for noodling around and experimenting with. It is less forgiving than the sanded papers because it won't take as much abuse or as many layers of pastel, and you can't get rid of mistakes as easily. I tend not to use it when I'm going for photo realism, as that takes (me at least) many more layers than canson will provide.

That said, a well done painting on Canson is wonderful to look at. I find canson lends a luminosity to paintings that is unmistakable. And, Harley Brown uses Canson for most of his portraits (if not all).

Here's a portrait of mine on Canson:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jan-2012/88887-mayan_woman.JPG

Sonni
01-27-2012, 11:31 PM
I'm curious.....I have never liked Canson Mi-Tientes, but I recently purchased two pieces of Canson board which I was hoping I would like, but it is mounted so that the honeycomb surface is the working surface, and I took an immediate dislike to it. Is the Canson Mi-Teintes Touch yet another Canson product?

Yeah. The most expensive to boot. I've used the Canson waffle board and didn't like it until one day I sanded it down in a nasty fit of temper. Still a bit of the waffle pattern left, but it worked much better, especially with the softer pastels. I'd be real happy if Canson used the smooth side on their boards. One reason is the fading as there is no possible way I know of to totally cover the waffle side. You can spray it and layer more pastels, but it still comes through. See example below

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jan-2012/111873-town_hall_pastel_Above_Hope_Valley.jpg

Devonlass
01-28-2012, 10:27 AM
Sonni, thanks for your response.....I had given up hope of getting any replies to this question. They keep making this waffle paper, so I suppose there must be a whole lot of people who like it, and buy it........but who they are...........? Almost without exception, everyone I've heard speak of it, prefers to use the reverse side. I suppose price would be one factor that makes it popular.

By the way, nice picture (even with the waffles). Love the rich colors.

Sonni
01-28-2012, 05:27 PM
Sonni, thanks for your response.....I had given up hope of getting any replies to this question. They keep making this waffle paper, so I suppose there must be a whole lot of people who like it, and buy it........but who they are...........? Almost without exception, everyone I've heard speak of it, prefers to use the reverse side. I suppose price would be one factor that makes it popular.

By the way, nice picture (even with the waffles). Love the rich colors.

The paper is very inexpensive compared to the sanded stuff out there. I use it because if the piece doesn't turn out, it does not break my heart or credit card to rip it up and start over. I do a couple plein air workshops a year and have students begin on the 9x12 smooth side of Canson MT for this very purpose. They tend to be less tight and willing to take more chances. The one I posted here was a small plein air piece that drove me nuts with the waffle effects. I sprayed and the board seemed to absorb the pastel leaving the waffle pattern alive and well. I could easily go over it with more pastel, but if I sprayed again, the same thing would happen. When you are painting against the sun, this is not fun.

PETE K
01-28-2012, 08:39 PM
I'll keep it going. M/T Love it. and yes the smooth side. I tend to use my fingers alot and sanded paper takes my skin off my fingures quite a bit. I dont tend to use 3 to 5 layers. and my finger tips are intact.

Here is a Link (http://http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=609462)I did on M/T It was for the Cumberland State Parks Museum. here in town.

EMMAJI
02-08-2012, 11:06 PM
I have recently done a portrait on Canson Mi-T and used the rough side. I used pastel pencil to get the fine details. It came out well. In the areas where I didn't want the paper to show through, I simply used a paper stump to smudge the pastel over, and it covered the mottled effect well. I don't know why everyone complains about the paper showing through.....it seems easy enough to spread the color with a paper stump or even your finger.

Now I am trying the smooth side because of all the feedback on another posting about that side being the best.

Which side do you prefer?

I will let you know the results of my experiment. Thanks!:wave:

EMMAJI
03-10-2012, 11:58 PM
:) If I am to read the above comments correctly, it is best to use softer pastels on Canson M-T paper.....and to use the harder pastels on sandpaper (art paper).
Is this correct?
Emmaji

ps: at present I am using pastel pencils for fine portraiture work, and I find the Canson M-T paper doesn't work so well. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Jason1616
03-11-2012, 12:17 AM
Canson Mi Teintes is like an old acquaintance that you never quite let go of. You may move on to sanded papers or something truly top notch like PastelMat, but Canson MT is always there waiting when you want to go back to your roots.

As many pastelists have pointed out here, it depends on how you use it. Some love the waffle-like texture, some prefer the smooth side. Some say it works better with harder pastels, some say softer. Personally I prefer the smooth side of Canson MT with a slightly firmer (semi-soft) pastel like Rembrandt or Blick Artists Pastels. I love it and always will! Even if sometimes I forget to visit it for a few months or years at a time.

Jason :)

DAK723
03-11-2012, 10:25 AM
:) If I am to read the above comments correctly, it is best to use softer pastels on Canson M-T paper.....and to use the harder pastels on sandpaper (art paper).
Is this correct?
Emmaji

I haven't read the other comments - and every artist has their own preferences and way of working - but I would say the opposite. I would use hard and medium pastels on Canson. The softies put down too much dust that has no tooth to cling to. Especially if you use the smooth side - which most people seem to prefer.

I think you can use any and all pastels on sanded paper.

Again, that's just one man's opinion!

Don

chewie
03-11-2012, 10:55 PM
most seem to use the smooth side, the 'back' of the paper. I also started with it, but if you'll remember, its not that many years ago that canson was ALL there really was! there was ersta, which felt good but was full of acid. or make your own.

if you use soft pastels and have a heavy hand, you'll fill the tooth pretty fast and I haven't found too many ways to recover from that without it looking mushy and/or overworked.

I have used a sheet now and then but much prefer sanded now. hands down, cost accounted for as well. if I do not like what I produced on sanded paper, brush/scrub it off and flip it to 'mess up' the image in my eye and start something else. i've re-used a sanded paper a few times. so its seldom ruined enough to toss.

i am curious, does canson mt ever say how long it'll last??

IMaybe
03-14-2012, 09:38 PM
:) Again, I say this----I love Canson Mi Tientes----and I also love other types of papers. I admit, at first I didn't---but keep trying it and really have gotten fond of it. The strangest thing is, when I am thinking about a painting I want to try---what surface to use is one of the questions I ask---and for some, I actually can visulize it on the Casone. . . .so use that. I haven't sold many pieces of art, but I have sold more on the Canson, go figure.
Many artists of great popularity use Canson for their major works as you know . .. . Like Desmond O'Hagen, Doug Dawson, Lorenzo Chavez, Harley Brown, and many more -- Mike Beeman also makes Canson look beautiful.
To me, that says alot, plus there are some colors of Canson that are perfect for some subjects. I also paint in Gouche on Canson, after stretching it like watercolor paper. It is strong and can do many things. And most recently, while looking at blogs---I went to Paula Ford's blog and saw her very recent paintings in pastel on Canson and they are some of her best!!! A new convert!! So all I say, is give it a chance. Also, as you paint more,You begin to pick up the pastle that is the most correct in value and so no need to go over and over the painting, trying to adjust your values---and so don't over work or fill the tooth of the paper, and so the painting can really look good on Canson---Which is archival and will last as long as you will. I block in with the harder, and go to the softer as I paint----and it does get easier .

coconut
03-15-2012, 12:10 AM
As a pastel "rookie", I use Mi-Tientes on the smooth side. Works ok for me at present, but after reading about the other types of paper, I would like to try them as well. I do like the colour variety and the price. Didn't know about fading, but then I'm still trying to learn all I can about pastels and paper.:)

robertsloan2
03-15-2012, 02:13 AM
I love Canson! I love the colours, the price, and the effects you can achieve with it.

I find it works well for portraits and animals in particular. In general, I find it works well when you know exactly what you are doing and exactly how you are going to achieve it in 5 layers of pastel or less. So, I do not find it's a paper for noodling around and experimenting with. It is less forgiving than the sanded papers because it won't take as much abuse or as many layers of pastel, and you can't get rid of mistakes as easily. I tend not to use it when I'm going for photo realism, as that takes (me at least) many more layers than canson will provide.

That said, a well done painting on Canson is wonderful to look at. I find canson lends a luminosity to paintings that is unmistakable. And, Harley Brown uses Canson for most of his portraits (if not all).

Here's a portrait of mine on Canson:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jan-2012/88887-mayan_woman.JPG

Pippa, that's exactly it. That's what I like about Canson Mi-Tientes. When I use it, I do what I'm doing in five bold layers or less and don't hesitate. It's a different, speedier style and sometimes I have got to paint that way. Anything I do on Canson Mi-Tientes, I'll finish it in one session, at most two. If I'm using sanded or coated papers it's more often two, three or four sessions to finish.

You're right about the luminosity too. When I use mi-Tientes, I like to show some of the paper under the pastels, almost always work looser too. I still love Moonstone best, for portraits it's incredible. It's always just right for the background, harmonizes with skin tones but it's distinct enough that it looks good even where skin and background have a hard edge.

I may start doing something in between "do a background" and "just use the paper behind the subject" - put some loose lighter or darker areas of color that fade out into the paper to contrast hue or value with the subject, use those shapes to balance the composition, but leave one or two thirds of the background bare instead of all or none.

You have me wondering now whether to try Roche and Girault on them. I know softer pastels work well on mi-Tientes but I suspect the Girault may work well on it too.

Karen, I followed back to your blog and this time discovered I could get an email subscription. Very cool. I like your blog a lot.

SherryC
03-15-2012, 12:55 PM
So I will know when I have stopped being a newbie when I can produce something worthwhile on Canson :D

bnoonan
03-15-2012, 01:40 PM
Like many others, I started with Canson M-T and soon switched to other sanded papers. Occasionally I would pick up some M-t and try it again, only to put it away for another time. Then in November of last year I attended a workshop with Lorenzo Chavez and watched him paint beautiful pictures on M-T and then encourage others in the workshop to try the paper. After much self debate, I ordered a set of Rembrandt pastels and was much surprised at the difference the pastel stick made in painting on M-T. Since then I have painted a number of paintings on the M-T (both sides) and am very happy with the results. Especially considering the difference in price between M-T and the sanded papers. I particularly use the M-T for life painting sessions on a weekly basis, as this is the paper I used on my first portrait many years ago. With the proper pastels the paper is a delight to use.

It is my personal observation that selecting the proper pastel for use on any paper is critical to the success obtained. I have many more Ludwig, G-A's and MV's than any other type and there is IMHO a definite place to use each one.

John


I AGREE WITH ALL JOHN SAID!!!

robertsloan2
03-16-2012, 05:33 PM
Oh definitely, Barbara! John's right about that. Canson Mi-Tientes is perfect for life sessions. I'm not tempted to overwork it. Rembrandt pastels love M-T, they work so well on it that's a good choice for going out plein air too. I'm about to try Roche on it, both by itself and in combination with other pastels.

Back in the early 1990s, I made a living with 60 Grumbacher pastels, very similar texture to Rembrandt. 30 Skin Tone plus 30 Assorted and an unending supply of Canson Mi-Tientes full sheets purchased at a little art store right across from Jackson Square. I must have used reams of the stuff because I was selling portraits at $25 each, $10 per additional person and just working larger when I started adding more people.

It'll be ironic if the most expensive pastels I own are happiest with the least expensive pastel paper I own. But very useful to know!

Sherry, love that line. Yep. When you can do something well on Canson Mi-Tientes it's a big step up in skill. One that'll also help you on sanded papers and help you appreciate the sanded papers for what they are. I can add one point - when you go beyond sanded papers to successfully using the waffle side of Mi-Tientes and produce something good, that's its own level of mastery!

The waffle texture is mechanical and distracting - unless you're so used to using broken color that it just becomes a unifying texture. I found out that it helps to have several passages of broken color on waffle texture in different areas of the painting to make it shine and look good. Especially if there's one near the focal area where you laid down blended color and then scumble over it, so the waffle texture comes up again with a different hue in background. Takes careful blending not to smash it.

SherryC
03-16-2012, 06:42 PM
Robert you are a slick talker. I may have to try it again.

allydoodle
03-16-2012, 11:08 PM
Robert you are a slick talker. I may have to try it again.

I truly believe that painting on Canson in the early stages of an artist's pastel learning curve is the best teaching tool. If you can figure out how to manipulate the pastel on Canson, you can paint on any other surface. Definitely use the smooth side of the paper, the waffle side is definitely difficult, especially to someone that is just starting out. Why make it harder than it needs to be?

By working on Canson you will really "see" and understand how pastels work, how to manipulate the color, how it responds to different techniques of application, and it will force you to achieve good results with less layers. Your painting process will be more "effective", using an economy of strokes that will give you faster results. You really have to think about what you're doing. Because it is harder to save a painting, you will be forced to use strokes that work. With sanded paper you can't use the paper as a 'crutch' to get you out of trouble. Many will disagree with me, which is fine as this is my personal experience. I do know that there are those that absolute hate Canson and think I'm crazy. I do know for a fact that because sanded papers are much more forgiving you can easily fix things. Some people say why not? I say it's fine (I love sanded paper), but for my students that have never painted with pastels or Canson paper, I always insist they learn on Canson before graduating on to sanded papers. Also, using the right color of Canson (right for the subject you are painting) is extremely helpful in having a successful painting.

Rembrandts and other harder pastels like Nupastels or Cretacolor work well on Canson, though I 've done entire paintings using Senellier on Canson MT with satisfactory results. I think a light touch when using the softies is a must. I hope you give it a whirl, I would think the Roche pastels would be nice as they sound like a harder pastel. You wouldn't have to worry about using them up too fast!

robertsloan2
03-17-2012, 01:01 AM
Thanks, Chris! That is a great idea when I'm teaching students. If I start everyone out on Canson first, get them comfortable with working in fewer layers and then introduce the sanded papers, they'll have more skill in using the versatile Colourfix and Wallis and so on.

I have to admit, Canson Mi-Tientes is half of why I got so attached to Colourfix as my favorite sanded paper. I love the textures of sanded papers but get frustrated without a massive variety of colors available.

I may also put the "full sheet of all the colors it comes in" back on my wish list. It would be fun to have the full range available all the time. I wish they would do an All Colors assortment either in the large sheets or the small size - in small size I would get several of them and buy a full sheet whenever I used the last piece of a given color.

sketchZ1ol
03-17-2012, 04:35 AM
hello
just reading the top of the thread ,
it looks like the ongoing issue of
the artist , the material , and creativity .
> it's not just finding inspiration from a scene . everything has it's limitations .
-> it's how you work with that ... :)

Ed :}

allydoodle
03-17-2012, 12:56 PM
With sanded paper you can't use the paper as a 'crutch' to get you out of trouble.


I made a mistake when I made the above statement. What I meant to say was:

"With sanded paper you use the paper as a 'crutch' to get you out of trouble." Sorry 'bout that :D .....

To add to that statement...... There's nothing wrong with using sanded papers if you really want to paint and just plain don't like Canson. If you're getting so frustrated with the Canson, then by all means switch to whatever surface pleases you. After all, this is supposed to be fun. I just recommend using the Canson as a starter paper because I stand by my statement about its ability to "teach" you how pastels work. Also, it really does help if you have someone physically sitting with you to teach you how it works. I would think that if you are teaching yourself and you are all alone and struggling with no one to help you one-on-one, then switch because there's no point in being frustrated. Some people can figure it out on their own, but not everybody is able to. If that is the case, it really does help to have a teacher right there with you, it makes a big difference.

After using sanded paper for one of her first paintings (she really wanted to use the sanded paper, she likes my paintings on it) and then switching to Canson, one of my students commented (without my saying so first) that she felt the sanded paper was too much of a crutch, and she noticed it after she started playing with the Canson. She feels the Canson gives her a better understanding of what pastels actually do on the paper. Out of the mouth of babes.....:lol:

Also, I cannot stress enough the importance of picking the proper color to start with. Using the best color for your painting improves your chances of producing something you are pleased with. If you pick something that is not the best choice, you will fight with the painting all the way through. The color of the paper should help make the painting work, not fight it. Because it accepts much less layers, the paper needs to be your friend.

SherryC
03-17-2012, 07:12 PM
I think I have some Canson somewhere so I will try it again.

ArtistMelinda
09-30-2012, 12:56 PM
I just tried it also and LOVE it! The colors are wonderful!!!!!:clap:

thevaliantx
09-30-2012, 01:28 PM
Or artists who take crayons and watercolour made for children and paint beautifully.

Thank you! My aunt had the nerve to tell me the other day that a drawing I did, in crayon, of the house behind the one I live in, wasn't impressive to her. Her reasoning? She doesn't like anything done in crayon by anyone over the age of 12. I'm sorry, but that's just ignorant thinking!

Colorix
09-30-2012, 06:03 PM
Thevaliantx, oh dear, people do have their hangups. Auntie must then toss out Mary Cassatt, Odilon Redon, Monet, Degas, just to name a few of the older masters. Oh, yes, Munch's pastel version of The Scream for a measly $120 million.

And to be logical: children paint with watercolour, so nobody above the age of 12... right? :-D

Donna A
10-01-2012, 10:12 PM
The only problems with Canson Mi-Teintes is that it's only 65% rag, and the rest is terrible wood pulp type materials that do not stand up well over time---and that the medium and darker colors FADE!!!! A friend of mine from several states to the north came for a show in KC and stopped by for a visit and to show me some of her paintings bound for the show. She THEN worked on canson---large paintings that were quite lovely! When she mentioned her work being on Canson and I showed her about the fading, she said that she always covered up the whole paper with pastels. When we went out to look at her very lovely paintings, I pointed out here and here and here and here, etc. where I saw the burgundy paper showing thru---and that was only in a small area. She was amazed! And has not used it again for her paintings. And other very fine artist and friend here in town had been using Canson until I reported on this some years ago to our MidAmerica Pastel Society. He tested a number of the papers by covering half of a strip of various colors, then exposing the rest to sunlight for two months. When he removed the heavy black paper covering from his samples, he was horrified to see how much the uncovered areas had bleached out. He told me that since then, he has been using the Canson as the final backing on his framed pieces. As he said, there it will not fade! IF you are incorporating the color of the paper, even a tiny bit, into your painting on Canson, know that it will NOT look the same way you left the painting in a few months to a couple of years. It's just not a matter of texture or finish of the paper. If you like the surface, find a paper where the color is permanent and where it's made from 100% rag---if you care about the life and the looks of your painting. Just how it is. Very best wishes! Donna ;-}

ps--it's not a matter of my hating the paper; it's about how undependable it is. D