Need help to find a brand of fine quality of paper for color pencils.- CP on A4 Photocopy paper

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Hi Rachna.........what do you need help with exactly?

Hi Mark, while working on different surfaces I realised that fine paper helps in bringing out details. The above work was just an experiment with CPs.Can you suggest a brand of fine paper ? how does it affect the thickness of paper? Please guide me on the issue of papers keeping CPs in mind.
Mark Bedwell said:

Hi Rachna.........what do you need help with exactly?

Hi Rachna........hmm, paper. :o)

It all depends on what kind of finished texture you wish to achieve, and how heavy a hand you have. If you're looking for a textured finish, then there's many textured papers out there. Many of the watercolour papers have a good texture to them, but if you're heavy handed I'd avoid using  soft cold pressed paper..........heavy use of the pencil will destroy the paper. If you want to do fine detail, then stick to hot pressed smooth surfaced paper.

Some of the more popular brands do paper manufactured specifically for pencils, and come with different textures, so it's worth checking them out..........beware though, some of it's ridiculously expensive. Strathmore's 300 series Bristol Board is of good quality and value, and comes in smooth or velum, and is brilliant for use with cp's.

Unless you're very light handed, avoid using lightweight paper........I'm very heavy handed, so I always use heavyweight hot pressed paper. Although I actually gave up using paper as such some years ago, and now use just Bristol and illustration board instead........Crescent do some great and reasonably priced illustration boards. A cheap alternative to illustration board is mount board........it's quite robust, comes in loadsa colours, has a great drawing surface....and it's cheap! :o)

One other thing to remember is the pencils themselves..........soft & hard. For instance, soft cp's work much better on textured surfaces than a hard cp's. You'll get much brighter colours from the soft cp's, and they won't chew the paper up like hard cp's will.

Thanks Mark, your reply has cleared my doubts. Uptill now I hv worked in layers n embedded the pigments by rubbing a smooth glass-ball or a spoon overturned. This normally gives a very glossy finish. I don't know whether it is ok or not.

One more problem is how and when to use the solvents in CP work? One of my work is lying incomplete cuz of my foolishness,,,,, before burnishing it i didn't realise that some portion had to be different and I couldn't add any details. Is it possible to remove lil pigment with the help of solvent n brush????

Mark Bedwell said:

Hi Rachna........hmm, paper. :o)

It all depends on what kind of finished texture you wish to achieve, and how heavy a hand you have. If you're looking for a textured finish, then there's many textured papers out there. Many of the watercolour papers have a good texture to them, but if you're heavy handed I'd avoid using  soft cold pressed paper..........heavy use of the pencil will destroy the paper. If you want to do fine detail, then stick to hot pressed smooth surfaced paper.

Some of the more popular brands do paper manufactured specifically for pencils, and come with different textures, so it's worth checking them out..........beware though, some of it's ridiculously expensive. Strathmore's 300 series Bristol Board is of good quality and value, and comes in smooth or velum, and is brilliant for use with cp's.

Unless you're very light handed, avoid using lightweight paper........I'm very heavy handed, so I always use heavyweight hot pressed paper. Although I actually gave up using paper as such some years ago, and now use just Bristol and illustration board instead........Crescent do some great and reasonably priced illustration boards. A cheap alternative to illustration board is mount board........it's quite robust, comes in loadsa colours, has a great drawing surface....and it's cheap! :o)

One other thing to remember is the pencils themselves..........soft & hard. For instance, soft cp's work much better on textured surfaces than a hard cp's. You'll get much brighter colours from the soft cp's, and they won't chew the paper up like hard cp's will.

The shiny finish yo get from cp's is the thing I really dislike about them, and is the main reason I've not used them for some time now........but if it works for you Rachna, then it's OK. :o)

Solvents are mainly used for blending colours, but be careful which solvents you use. Rubbing alcohol works best, but it's not perfect......and yes, use a brush. Unless you're using a hard paper, I wouldn't use solvent to erase something, and then only very carefully. Rubbing the paper while it's wet will cause it to disintegrate. In fact trying to erase burnished cp with anything is almost impossible.

If you have used hard paper, then the surface wax from the cp's can be erased by gently scraping it off with a scalpel blade, and then removing most of the rest with a putty rubber.........don't try this with soft cold pressed paper. You won't ever erase cp completely though, whatever paper you're using.


Mark you hv really been helpful. God bless you!!!! I am sure I wd be able to work better with you to guide me.
Mark Bedwell said:

The shiny finish yo get from cp's is the thing I really dislike about them, and is the main reason I've not used them for some time now........but if it works for you Rachna, then it's OK. :o)

Solvents are mainly used for blending colours, but be careful which solvents you use. Rubbing alcohol works best, but it's not perfect......and yes, use a brush. Unless you're using a hard paper, I wouldn't use solvent to erase something, and then only very carefully. Rubbing the paper while it's wet will cause it to disintegrate. In fact trying to erase burnished cp with anything is almost impossible.

If you have used hard paper, then the surface wax from the cp's can be erased by gently scraping it off with a scalpel blade, and then removing most of the rest with a putty rubber.........don't try this with soft cold pressed paper. You won't ever erase cp completely though, whatever paper you're using.

Many colored pencil artists "mix their colors" by adding multiple layers directly to the surface of the paper.  In order to add many layers, you need a paper with more tooth (think "texture") to the surface. . . feel different papers with your fingers to see what you like, better yet, try drawing on different surfaces to see what effect you like. There are so many papers and everyone has their own favorites, which may be unavailable in your area, that it really comes down to what you can get and what you like.

I recently bought a pad of paper that other CP artists love...and I hated it.  I have a very light touch, so for me, I can't get the results I want without changing the way I normally work.  I am learning to work with it, but I had expected to love it right away and was very disappointed.    I have also tried surfaces that aren't typical...brown paper bags and wood come to mind right away...and got some great results.   What it comes down to is this...try everything you can get your hands on and you will find a surface you love.

In the meantime, keep posting your work, I am enjoying it all!  =]

PS - by burnishing your work, you are smashing the tooth and preventing the paper from taking more layers of color, so be sure you are finished with your piece before you burnish any of it.

Pris I was told to lightly burnish in between the layers..... though later on I had problems cuz I couldn't add the last minute details to my sketch. But now I'll keep it in mind Thanks. Regards, Rachna. 

Rachna... What TYPE of colored pencil are you using??? the WAX based will build up a wax layer the more you color over and over.... but the OIL based will also get a 'slickness' about them too.... but with OIL, you can at least erase them very easily if you make a mistake and color over them.  But wax is way more difficult to do that.      As for the SOLVENT thing... rubbing alcohol isn't a good thing to use.. if you are going to use anything, use GAMSOL, it does not soak into the paper, it evaporates immediately and is odorless ( as long as you purchase the odorless one)  you can find it at the craft/art store.  Just use a paper blending stump that you just dip into it.. and go in small circles and it breaks the 'wax' down blending it- or smoothing it out... it will fill in the  white spaces on the paper making it look much more even.    It also works when you want to use two colors say a red and a yellow.... coloring each one toward eachother till they touch lightly then use the gamsol rubbing lightly over and it will blend them creating an orange.    you can also just use your pencils if you use the right pressure going one pencil at a time... each one, until you get that orange blending the colors together.        As for the PAPER.... if you want a GOOD paper for pencils that wont leave white spaces after you color.. use BRISTOL OR BRISTOL VELLUM paper it is super smooth... you wont have to push as hard with your pencils, which will also cut down on your wax build up as well.     I hope that this helps.  :)      also, DO NOT BURNISH BETWEEN... EVER. 

Some CP artists use scotch tape or handi-tack to lift off layers that are not easy to erase.  When using the tape, just use a corner of it onto your area, keeping the other end on your finger so you aren't lifting too much of what you want to keep and then using another pencil, and using a bit of pressure, color on top of the tape in the area that you want to remove the color.

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