View Full Version : Velum - how do you use it?

09-26-2003, 04:39 PM
Hi All,

Kinda skimmed everything I could find that was written about papers or supports but I couldn't find an answer to my question.
I have a package of old Velum that my husband use to use in the days of manual drafting (pre-cad days... ). At least he calls it Velum, there is an insert that labels it as "Static Free Drafting Film". Are there different types of Velum? If I use this, is there any special prep I should do to the surface, it seems very smooth compared to regular pastel paper? It seems to be a very sturdy type of work surface although it is sort of thin! Any other tid bits of info anyone cares to share, will be greatly appreciated! :D Thanks Sharon

Laura Shelley
09-26-2003, 07:56 PM
I sometimes work on Canson vellum, but only with color pencil and graphite. The kind I have is 100% rag and expensive. I've heard various stories about how it's manufactured, but I think the fibers are beaten very fine so that the paper becomes translucent when hot pressed. It's very smooth and hard, so it erases well and is good for fine detail. However, I've heard it becomes brittle with age. I've used oil pastel on it--oil pastel sticks to anything--but I imagine soft pastel would not allow more than one layer or so, and might not cling to the surface unless strongly rubbed in. I saw a show a couple of years ago in which the artist had hung some large charcoal drawings done on roll vellum, which comes in huge lengths.

There is also "vellum finish" bristol board, which isn't the same thing at all, just to confuse the matter :) That is good for fine detail in hard pastels.


09-26-2003, 08:11 PM
Drafting film as I know it is only suitable for pencil/ink and some paints, it's usually translucent too.... Am I talking about the same thing here?


09-26-2003, 09:21 PM
Mo, Hit right on the head... it was used for drafting purposes... I was trying to figure out if it was the same thing but I couldn't find any thread that talked specifically about vellum and what it was. My husband always called this stuff vellum, so when I saw different posts mentioning vellum paper... well what can I say... ask a question... LOL. Thanks

MM, That's what I needed to know, what exactly vellum was and how it is used. I love this forum, everyone just jumps right in with the the answers! :D

Thanks guys... appreciate the info... :clap: :D... Sharon

09-26-2003, 10:24 PM
Actually "true" vellum is specially prepared animal skin. Often used by calligraphers and miniature artists. I have a piece which I havent been game to use as it's VERY expensive!

Laura Shelley
09-26-2003, 10:46 PM
You know, I was wondering if that was still made anywhere! :) I read that some 18th-century pastel artists used sanded animal-skin parchment or vellum as a support.


09-27-2003, 03:25 AM
When i was researching pastels online i came across several artist that said their portraits were done on velum. So i when to my art store and found it and bought some. I thought it was going to be expensive but it was only $1 for an 18x24. Anyway when i got it home and started looking at it i realized how thin it was! I would think any piece of art work done on it would be very fragile. I don't know. I still want to experiment on it, see what happens.