Sunday, November 20, 2011

A new discovery: painting on cardstock

Sandstone study in purple
6x6 - pastel on brown Colorbok cardstock
© S.Johnson
One of my paintings sold on Etsy yesterday, so I had to make a run to Walmart today to pick up some more shipping envelopes and other miscellaneous stuff that I need that Walmart [usually] carries.  Usually, our grocery trips to Walmart are one of those "in and out as fast as possible", but sometimes when I go by myself, I wander down some of the other isles where I occasionally find things useful for my studio and to appease my crafty side (like yarn for a crocheted hat).

Today, I visited the scrapbooking isle, and even though I don't do scrapbooking, I always like looking at the supplies and little do-dads they carry.  I happened to notice the selection of papers, which included these pads of 12x12" heavy smooth cardstock paper that came in a variety of colors, and specifically, a pad of earth neutrals which included black, two shades of brown, white and yellow.  The company is Colorbok , although their website doesn't show any of the paper products I saw.

Thirty sheets.  Acid and lignin-free.

And, the best part.....the price:


That's less than I paid for the single sheet of the Somerset Black Velvet paper.


We are leaving for AZ early-early tomorrow morning for the holiday, so I couldn't dedicate an evening to trying out a full sheet.  I decided to try the dark brown paper and after hitting it with my sanding pad, I quartered it and did this quick value study to see how it handled.

It's based on a photo taken in - where else - Moab, during my plein air trip.  I had cropped the original photo, squared it, and made it b/w for a possible abstract painting, so I could ignore the local color and just focus on values.

Verdict:  Love the paper

I probably won't use the white with pastels, but it is heavier than Bristol and just as smooth, so I'm thinking it will be great for graphite drawings or pen and ink.

So, if you ever wanted to experiment with smooth paper for your pastels, this could be a low-cost way to give it a try.  They also had packs of 8.5 x 11" paper, same price, in some wonderful dark neutrals.

I'm bringing it with me on our T-giving trip, along with my easel, as I am hoping and planning to do some plein air painting while we are in the Phoenix area.  We are going to be staying at White Tank Regional Park in Wayne's brother's ginormous RV, which means I'll have plenty of Sonoran desert-y subjects to paint within walking distance.  Exciting!

I usually don't have internet access during these holiday trips to Phoenix, so I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, and safe travels.  I will definitely miss reading everyone's blogs while I'm out of town.


  1. I love the turquoise and violet, and the story is great, too. Now, I'll have to go find out what "lingen free" means.

  2. What a bargain!! Enjoy your trip. Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. That is beautiful Sonya! I love the turquoise with the purples. And I never would have thought to try scrapbooking paper, but you're right about it being as smooth as bristol. I'll have to try some, I'm pretty sure I have some tucked away here. And I crochet (sometimes) too! When the crafty mood strikes me. :)

    And congrats on the sale too!

  4. Thanks, Casey - it was fun to use these non-local colors, and violets and turquoise are always good together. Lignin is the substance found in plant fibers that produces the destructive acids in papers.

    Thanks, LeAnn - same to you!

    Hi Crystal - thanks so much; I'm glad you enjoyed this color combo - it's fun, I think! Great to expand the versatility of cardstock to us fine artists, right ;)?

  5. I love Walmart for just that reason! check this out:
    have a great holiday.

  6. Awesome deal. I love cruising the arts & craft supply aisles too, Sonya!! Beautiful painting, I especially like the little shots of brown paper showing through.

  7. Hi Pam - Walmart comes through many times, esp. here where we don't have a Michael's and the local art supply store is small and $$. An artist friend in Bayfield and I were recently discussing that video...definitely not taken at the Durango store ;)!

    Diane - thanks so much! I actually like the brown paper showing through as well, which sort of surprises me, because I normally don't like it on textured papers. It's fun finding out how many others enjoy browsing these other isles - you never know what cool things you'll find, right :)?


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