View Full Version : Felt paper for pastels

11-03-2019, 01:35 AM
Hi all,

I have read a lot of information on this forum about sanded and non-sanded papers for pastel, but I haven't found much information about felt papers.

I recently obtained a bundle of Sennelier papers that included La Carte and a Grey Felt Paper pad. I have played around with both papers, and got the impression that La Carte is more for 'serious' paintings, and the felt paper is more for sketches and experimental works. Is that right? Or would some pastel artists also compete serious works on felt paper?

Or is felt paper intended for use with oil pastels?

I spent some time in an art supplies shop today and came across Colourfix Italian Pastel Paper pad by Art Spectrum. I was not previously aware of this product, but read in the description on the AS website that it is a dual-surfaced paper, with one side being felt. Does anyone have any additional thoughts on or experience with this paper? I am very curious!

I see that non-sanded papers such as Canson Mi-Teintes are mentioned a lot in the discussions on this forum, as are various brands of sanded paper (La Carte, AS Colourfix, Uart, Pastelmat, Mi-Teintes Touch/Tex, and Ampersand Pastelbord), but I have never seen discussions on felt paper for pastels.

Any information will be greatly appreciated!

Kind regards,


water girl
11-03-2019, 02:52 PM
Hi, Courtney! I think most of us start out using Canson Mi-Tientes smooth side. Felt Gray is a Canson color. Can you feel a difference in texture? I'm just not familiar with felt paper.

11-03-2019, 07:16 PM
I am not familiar with what felt paper is either. But there are lots of different types of papers out there from fairly smooth papers, sanded papers, papers with other types of textured material and even velour and suede. They aren't designated in any way as to whether they are for serious work or more for sketches - that is totally up the the artist and the particular piece they are working on! The cost can vary quite a bit, so many artists save the expensive papers for serious work, but it's best to choose the papers you like best and have the most success with!

Welcome to pastels!


11-04-2019, 11:12 AM
Is it called felt paper or is that the description you are giving it? They make velour paper for pastel work that is absolutely archival and made for serious works. Velour feels similar to velvet, perhaps a bit more delicate. Felt, or my understanding of it, there may be other kinds, is it is a way of treating sheep’s/lambs wool which shrinks and matts it together, though like many things there may be synthetic counterparts out there, or other materials that are treated in the same manner then considered felted. I believe the majority of papers for pastels are used for serious works. The ones that I wouldn’t mind using for practice or sketching is regular non sanded papers like Ingres, or papers like Canson Mi Tientes, as they are much less expensive, and I’ve heard some of the colors can fade, and do to the texture of the paper it doesn’t hold as many layers. But I believe as long as a paper is acid free and labeled archival, that you may use it as you wish, secure in the notion it will outlast you.

11-30-2019, 10:47 PM
Hi all,

Thanks so much for your responses. My apologies for the late reply.

@Misspriss - it is actually called felt paper. I think my intiial post was a little vague, so I have provided some links to the products I am referring to below, and their descriptions:

Sennelier l'Esprit du Pastel felt paper pad (https://www.e-artstore.net/product-group/6894-sennelier-grey-felt-pastel-pad/category/112-pastel-pads)
"Embodies 'l'esprit du pastel'. Grey felt textured paper, interleaved with acid-free glassine to protect artwork from dust. These pads are made for extra soft pastel and charcoal drawings."

Art Spectrum Italian pastel paper pad (https://artspectrum.com.au/products/pastel-pads/)
"This Italian pastel paper has a dual surface with one side felt marked giving it an even layered tooth for all pastel, pencils and charcoal and the smooth for craft."

@DAK723 - I guess my idea that these papers were for less 'serious' works was a bit silly - of course there is no hierarchy of pastel papers. I'm not sure why I got that in my head - perhaps because I noticed that the price point of these felt papers is significantly cheaper than many other types of surfaces. I agree that it depends on entirely the artist's preference! I am still experimenting with different combinations of pastels and papers to see what I have the most success with - so far I really like Art Spectrum Colourfix and Wallis paper, as I like to build up my paintings in many layers, and these papers come in some great colours. I expect that an artist's choice of paper might change depending on what effects they want to achieve and how they want the painting to look.

I also realised that I classified a number of papers as 'sanded' in my initial post that are not necessarily sanded in the traditional sense, but are textured or coated using other methods and materials.

I have briefly used the Sennelier l'Esprit du Pastel paper for some quick studies, and I found it to be a nice surface to work on. Colours appeared vibrant against the grey tone of the paper, and the texture of the paper isn't as 'orange peel'-like as that of the Canson Mi-Teintes. I felt much less 'nervous' about using this paper, as its price is so reasonable, and found myself able to work in a much more loose and expressive manner. I don't think this paper would be able to hold many layers, though.

I have not yet purchased the Art Spectrum Italian pastel paper.

I also can't wait to try velour, velvet, or suede papers - they will be next on my 'to buy' list!