Best Papers to use with Titanium White

Best Papers to use with Titanium White

The first question for December Q&A month concerns the best papers to use with titanium white.

Here’s the question.

What exact types of paper work best with Titanium White?  You told me that they would have to be heavier types, so just wondered specifically which ones would work?  I tried to find this out by searching on the internet and couldn’t get this question answered.


Best Papers to use with Titanium White

Gail has asked a great question. I yet to use Titanium White mixture, and I know many others of you probably haven’t either. So let’s talk a little bit about what Titanium White is first, then answer Gail’s question.

What is Titanium White

Colored pencil artist Alyona Nickelson developed Titanium white as a fully archival way to add or restore bright white highlights to ancolored pencil drawing. It can be used dry and applied with a sponge applicator to any part of a drawing you want to lighten.

Most artists I’ve seen using titanium white mix it with another Brush & Pencil product, Touchup Texture. Touchup Texture is restores surface texture to a drawing that is too slick to take more color. Just shake it up, brush it on, let it dry, and continue drawing.

Mix Titanium White and Touchup Texture, and brush it onto a drawing to add sparkling highlights. Once it’s dry, you can draw over it to add color. It looks like a fantastic product and an excellent addition to any colored pencil tool box.

Peggy Osborne, who has written several tutorials for this blog, uses this mixture in many of her projects, including How to Draw an Irish Setter and How to Draw White Fur.

The Best Papers to use with Titanium White

Some of the Brush & Pencil products require either a sanded paper or rigid support. Powder blender is one such.

But I was unable to find anything specific on the best papers to use with Titanium White. Many of the artists whose videos I watched while researching this question used sanded papers for their demos. Most of them were using Pastelmat, but that’s because that’s their go-to surface anyway.

Peggy has seven tutorials published on this blog and she used Titanium White mixture on almost all of them. Papers she used included heavyweight vellum from Bee Paper, mat board, Strathmore Mixed Media Paper, Canson Mi-Teintes Pastel Paper, Robert Bateman Series 110-pound paper, and Pastelmat.

What Peggy Osborne Recommends

So I asked Peggy what papers she found worked the best with Titanium White. Here’s what she had to say.

I can only answer this per my own experience. I have used the mixture on a number of different types of paper. But I normally use a thicker paper with tooth. I don’t how this mixture would work on a smooth, thin paper.

The mixture is fragile and you would not be able to roll your artwork to say, place in a tube [for shipping.] It is meant to stay flat or it will flake off.

This being said, I think the mixture would work on most papers. It is normally applied to the colored pencil so if there are several layers of pencil for the mixture to stick to then it should be fine.

Hope this helps.


What are the Best Papers to use with Titanium White?

It really looks like Titanium White works on any high-quality drawing paper. Heavier papers like Canson Mi-Teintes and sanded supports like Uart or Pastelmat seem to me to be the best alternatives, but as Peggy says, it appears suitable for most good drawing papers.

So if you have a favorite drawing paper and want to try Titanium White on it, go ahead. Make sure to do a test swatch first, though. There’s no sense in ruining an otherwise good drawing if the experiment doesn’t work.

I’ll do my own tests when I get the opportunity and write up my experiences. In the meantime, feel free to share with us how your drawings turned out in the comments below.


  1. Ruth Simon

    I am about three years into making art with colored pencil, and I use Stonehenge paper almost exclusively (because I have purchased a small mountain of it!).

    I have successfully used touchup texture and titanium white on Stonehenge paper, and in two different ways:

    1) The most common way, mixing together a small amount of the two products, and applying it with a very fine liner brush;

    2) The second way, which I may have pioneered when I needed a very random appearance of flecks of snow on a dark background.
    I painted the touch up texture on a small area, sprinkled the titanium white particles over it, and allowed it to dry.
    I worked in small areas, as I was covering a large portion of my artwork, and I needed to apply the titanium powder before the liquid dried.
    When this was completed, I followed with four or five coats of Brush and Pencil’s Advanced Colored Pencil Textured Fixative.

    I discussed this technique with the framer that I use. He suggested that in addition to a double mat, he would add a small spacer between the glass and the mat. He thought this would minimize the chance of the glass touching the raised pigment particles.

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