Full views of these can be seen here at my gallery blog.
Here’s an example of me being cheap and stubborn. Something called colorfix paper, and colorfix primer exists for pastel and coloured pencil artists who wish to use a truly toothsome paper of good quality, but it’s not available at my local art store and it’s expensive to import. Others, who care less for quality, might use a fine sandpaper, but I don’t like working on an untrustworthy surface (artist quality papers are/or should be archival), sandpaper purchased from a hardware store is a complete unknown.
So I decided to make it a do-it-yourself project, mixing beach sand into acrylic gel medium. The grains were too big for coloured pencil (though I may revisit this idea if I want to do a large oil pastel someday). After some other sad failures (which I won’t get into) and after being ready to give up, I stumbled (literally) onto a patch of sand so fine in looked and felt like grey flour (perhaps more properly called silt). So I brought it home, and here’s the result.
Deep watercolour wash, & let dry.
Apply Acrylic Gel Medium with a brush, dip brush in fine sand & brush in (I would use 2 brushes for something larger than an aceo to keep both gel and sand clean). Keep in mind that the brush strokes will remain visible due to texture which is something much desired but good to think about.
Let dry thoroughly, and then have fun with pencils.
I loved the freedom of being able to apply bright lights over darks, and love the rough texture, and the hint of brush-strokes coming through. This was an experiment that I will be revisiting often; finally, I have found a source for custom coloured textured paper. I will be revisiting this technique soon and often as it offers so many possibilities.
Top two pics, of course, show the finished paper, used during a life-drawing session. The final texture is wonderful, and as you can see the sand doesn’t obscure the under painting very much at all. Coloured pencil goes on thick and brilliant over darks and has a very ‘painterly’ affect.