Over the past two years I’ve developed a preference for pastels and oil pastels for my art. Part of working with these mediums has been finding a good paper to paint on. Many I’ve liked, and a few I didn’t. But the one I have fallen in love with is Canson Mi Teintes pastel paper. I now keep three different variations of this paper at all times; an assorted colors pad, an earth-tone colors pad, and a pad of black.
I began my search for an ideal pastel paper because I needed something less prone to buckle or crease while blending oil pastels, and also needed a surface textured enough to hold several layers. A local art store employee recommended Canson Mi Teintes pastel paper. And I wasn’t disappointed.
The first thing I liked about Canson Mi Teintes pastel paper is its 98 lb. weight. It’s thick enough and sturdy enough for blending oil pastels on. This doesn’t mean you can go crazy and vigorously rub because then it probably would buckle or crease. Any paper will. But lighter papers simply can’t handle this kind of treatment. Mi Teintes is a heavy paper and all but removes this headache.
Another important feature is its unique dual surface. One side has a heavy texture designed for broad stroke mediums, which pastels and oil pastels are. A grainy texture is ideal for work with pastels as it grabs pigment and still has enough texture afterwards to grab pigment again as you lay down successive layers. This paper’s other side is smooth and ideal for work with soft pencils, ink, and washes. I rarely use the smooth side, but having the extra option is something that will appeal to any artist.
The Nitti-Gritty of Canson Mi Teintes Pastel Paper
Canson Mi Teintes pastel paper is 50% cotton and is colored all the way through with lightfast colors. This makes it a gallery and museum quality surface that matches well with professional artist mediums. After all, it’s pretty useless to use lightfast pastels on colored paper that isn’t.
Mi Teintes is gelatin sized. “Sizing” is a term that refers to adding substances to paper that reduce its absorption. The practical side of sizing is that colors will stay on the paper’s surface and not bleed through or feather out. Some papers are sized with starches while others are sized with gelatin. The benefit of gelatin sizing is that it not only reduces absorption but also improves strength and flexibility and doesn’t yellow with age.
Another important quality is that this paper is acid free. It will remain the same color and strength for years to come. It won’t yellow or become brittle as papers with acid do.
A Full Product Line
Canson’s line of Mi Teintes pastel papers is huge. It’s available in 60 colors and can be purchased in single sheets, paper pads, and paper rolls. Pretty much any way you prefer to purchase professional artist paper is available with Mi Teintes.
Canson Mi Teintes pastel paper is available in all the art stores in my area and is also sold by pretty much every online supplier. Also, the price of this paper isn’t prohibitive. It’s a little more expensive than some brands but just barely; the quality and performance more than pay for the difference.
Any Artist Would Like This Paper
Canson Mi Teintes pastel paper can fill a lot of roles: exploring and experimenting on a good surface to master techniques, student use in class and for practice, and even finished works to display or sell. Of course, for a painting I plan to submit to a gallery I’d use pastel card or pastel art board. But Canson Mi Teintes pastel paper has a high enough quality for galleries. Just use an archival adhesive and fasten to a mounting board for gallery display.
Canson Mi Teintes pastel paper is versatile, archival quality, lightfast, widely available, and budget-friendly. I recommend it for beginners, hobbyists, and professionals alike.