Best Surfaces to Use With Brush and Pencil’s Powder Blender

Powder Blender and Textured Fixative If you like to use powder blender to blend your colored pencil work then you might be wondering what type of surfaces and paper will work best. This post has been compiled from posts that Alyona Nickelsen has made in our Colored Pencil for Beginner’s Group.

The best surfaces that I like to work with Powder Blender are: UART (any grit), Fisher 400.

These work also: Canson Mi-Teintes Touch, Risheson Premium Pastel Surface (don’t like much its texture, but it works), Art Spectrum Colourfix Supertooth, Ampersand Pastelbord, Pastel Premier Sanded Paper (not crazy about the consistency of the tooth, but it works).

You can also apply Gessoes onto any sturdy boards: Art Spectrum Pastel and Multimedia Premier gesso, Golden Acrylic Ground for pastels, Liquitex Gesso, Blic Gesso Professional, Holbein Gesso.”

I personally use Liquitex clear acrylic gesso sprayed onto 4-ply white Rising Museum Board Polar White or White. This way I am not restricted to the size or whiteness of my support and it is the most cost effective method. You can apply acrylic gesso with brush. However, to achieve the most even brushstroke free surface I use airbrush and thin down clear Liquitex acrylic gesso to the consistency of milk. After spraying I let it dry at least 24 hours, so it is completely cured and hardened. Works like a charm with Powder Blender and ACP Textured and Final fixatives.

Absorbent papers are typically made of cotton fibers that allow fine particles of Powder Blender to be trapped in between them and therefore leave some areas of fibers exposed. Waxes and oils from pencil core have a tendency to stick to cotton fibers which makes them difficult to blend. Powder Blender works as a dry lubricant for colored pencil that doesn’t let the particles from the pencil core stick to the working surface and allows them to be moved on the surface with sponges and brushes.

Nonabsorbent surfaces, such as gessoed papers or sanded papers, work well with Powder Blender because its particles can cover practically every part of the paper tooth and allow us to blend applied colored pencil with ease.

To secure applied colored pencil we use ACP Textured and Final fixatives. Absorbent types of paper naturally will absorb part of the sprayed fixatives and lessen their effect. Conversely, nonabsorbent surfaces do not absorb fixatives and allow it to secure applied pencil fully and to restore tooth lost during layering most effectively.
Hope this helps.” – Alyona Nickelsen

Note from Cecilia: Much appreciated if you can order the powder blender from Blick’s with my affiliate links. Thank you.

Brush and Pencil Powder blender:

Brush and Pencil Textured and final fixative:

Here is the link to Golden Pastel Grounds:

Liquitex Clear Gesso:

Author: Cecilia Kinzie

I'm a California gal who enjoys the sunshine and the ocean. I love my small rescue dogs and colored pencils. I'm a free spirit with a practical side and a big heart. You will find me sharing the joy of colored pencils in Southern California, Facebook, and beyond!

2 thoughts on “Best Surfaces to Use With Brush and Pencil’s Powder Blender”

  1. I use Arches Smooth 300 gsm watercolour paper for my paintings and like to use F/C polychromos pencils just on a blurred you think the blender will work on this paper as I love the paper for my paintwork…also, is the fixative absolutely necessary?? Thanks Sue

    1. No it will not work. This product is for sanded surfaces. The textured fixative and powder blender are meant to work together and I feel like both are necessary. It’s not the only way to blend, but works well on sanded surfaces. You can apply golden pastels grounds or liquitex clear gesso to you smooth watercolor paper if you would like to try this method of blending. Thanks for your question and stopping by. Please join our Facebook group for more info: Thanks!

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