My favorite pastel surface

by Robert Sloan
(Lawrence, Kansas, USA)

Bobcat on Colourfix sanded pastel paper by Robert  Sloan

Bobcat on Colourfix sanded pastel paper by Robert Sloan

My favorite primer for watercolor paper whether I'm using dry (hard or soft) pastels or oil pastels is clear Colourfix sanded primer. A sanded surface holds more layers, but the clear is so crystal-clear that it won't distort the color of a watercolor or acrylic underpainting.


The tooth on Colourfix is so fine it doesn't stop my doing small details on it. But it allows much more than a dozen layers instead of just two or three whichever pastels I'm using.

Colourfix pastel paper comes in 20 colors and is wonderful, it's the same primer printed on 100% rag watercolor paper at a factory. But you can make it at home cheaper with a pint of the primer and any watercolor paper you've got -- including failed watercolor paintings.

The bobcat above is on Aubergine hue Colourfix paper, 8" square in oil pastels.

For more on oil pastels, please visit my website at http://www.explore-oil-pastels-with-robert-sloan.com or my daily art blog at http://robertsloan2.livejournal.com.

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Thank you!
by: Anonymous

Wow, thank you!

I get the primer at Dick Blick online. Sometimes at Jerry's Artarama online, they have it too. If you're in the UK, then Jacksons might carry it online. I'm not sure, best thing to do is search around online or go to the Art Spectrum site and check distribution in your country for the Colourfix primers.

If you can't get it, Golden Pumice Gel does pretty much the same thing and comes in three different grits. I haven't tried that one because I like my Colourfix but I've got friends that do the same thing and swear by it.

Or mix your own by looking for grit additives to mix with acrylic mediums. Derivan makes a big range of additives and grits to go into acrylic paint and mediums to texture paintings and mix with acrylic gesso for priming. There is such a thing as Clear Acrylic Gesso you can add grits to, different brands of acrylics manufacturers have it.

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the bobcat
by: Peggy Gianesin

Hey Robert!!!!!!

Didn't know you were on here. LOVE the bobcat!! I just got some panpastels after Johannes' art class the other week. Thanks for all you do with the notes. The whole experience with Jo has been wonderful.

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Sounds Great!
by: Anonymous

What a great suggestion! I'll check that out!
Thanks!!!
Dz

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Thanks!
by: Anonymous

Thanks to both of you! In the USA, Dick Blick (online retailer) carries Colourfix paper and primer at a good price. In the UK, I found out that Jackson's carries it, which you're probably familiar with -- both the primers and the papers. Art Spectrum is an Australian company that also makes the Art Spectrum Pastels and Supertooth boards.

Colourfix is available as a primer to use on watercolor paper, as Colourfix paper where the primer's printed onto 100% rag watercolor paper, and as Colourfix board where the paper's mounted on a good quality archival board. All of these forms come in all 20 available colors.

I love the stuff.

As for fur textures, look close at the animal and pay attention to the direction of the fur. Use flicking strokes that start heavy and lift off the paper as you move in the direction of the fur, occasionally overlap them. That creates a good fur texture in any medium.

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Bobcat
by: Mops

WOW!!!! THAT IS VERY DRAMATIC...LOVE IT!
WHERE CAN YOU BUY THE PRIMER? I HAVE LOTS OF WASTED WATERCOLOR PAPER.

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Awesome!
by: Anonymous

I love the detail in your portrait! And I love the way you did the fur! I find it so difficult, but I'll get there!
This is just beautiful!
Dz

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