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pastelcloth
09-26-2005, 04:04 PM
Hi,

I have been pasteling on velour cloth for some 15 years in the UK and have been asked to if I would answer questions on working on this surface. So if i can help by passing on my experiences / tips please feel free to ask.

Thanks
Chris

Bringer
09-26-2005, 04:13 PM
Hi,

Thank you for your offer !
Do you have a website that we can look at ?
Is the velour cloth like a real cloth or is it like paper but only made of cloth ?
Did I make myself clear ? :-)
What differences do you find between a velour paper (if you ever used it) and velour cloth ?
Regards,

José

khourianya
09-26-2005, 04:22 PM
I have some velour paper that I ampalnning to use soo. I have used a sort of suede board quite a bit and really like it, except for erasing and making corrections, which I found to be quite a task.

I will be watching this thread! Thank you for the generous offer to share your knowledge with us.

pastelcloth
09-26-2005, 05:17 PM
Nice to talk to fellow pastelist across the globe!

I am in the process of redesigning my website, so will post details later.

The cloth I use is actually a cloth (with cotton backing) and not paper but very similar in look to commercially available velour papers. The main difference (apart from the ability to work on very large pictures - 54" wide x linear metre) is the ability to wet pastel to your heart's content without really 'clogging' the fibres. I prepare the cloth in several different ways depending on the effect I want or type of pastel I am using.

Cori - I know your frustrations with corrections i.e. suede board. Because the cloth is very robust I normally use a nail emery board to correct mistakes or when working wet, I sponge out just like you would if doing a waterclour wash. If I end up totally losing the picture - in the washing machine the cloth goes! (Most of my pictures are done on cloth that has been in the washer a couple of times)

Chris

KJSCL
09-26-2005, 06:48 PM
Hi Chris

Exactly what kind of velour cloth is this? It it something you would pick up at a fabric store? I'd definitely like to know more about it because the large size sounds interesting and being able to throw a bad painting in the washing machine sounds even more interesting!!

johndill01
09-26-2005, 06:48 PM
Now this sounds interesting. I do like to work on suede paper and/or suede mat board when I can find it at a reasonable price.

Cori: one thing that works for erasing is to take the suede paper outside and use a can of air with the small tube on it. It will remove only a small area at a time and normally restores the paper back to almost normal. There are a few colors that stain and are harder to remove, but it frees up the tooth and allows for repainting.

John

Khadres
09-26-2005, 07:02 PM
Wow, this sounds intriguing! Welcome to the forum, by the way! :D

Could we perhaps talk you into a work-in-progress sometime? This is a totally new idea to me, having only heard of velour paper in the past...a very tender and easily ruined surface and not nearly so robust as that you are using!

In any case, we'd love to see some of your work!

Paula Ford
09-26-2005, 07:05 PM
Welcome Chris!!

Great discussion...pulling up a chair and popping the corn!

Paula

pastelcloth
09-26-2005, 07:12 PM
Hi all,

Glad to see my posting is stimulating debate and thanks all for making a 'Brit' welcome. As it is now midnight in the UK...and I need my beauty sleep! I will sign off now but will join the forum again tomorrow evening and glady answer all questions and talk through more how I prepare the cloth, etc.

Thanks
Chris

johndill01
09-26-2005, 08:42 PM
Looking forward to this discussion.

John

pastelcloth
09-27-2005, 04:21 PM
Hi again,

To answer the questions:

Probably if you went to a specialist fabric store you may find something very similiar - the problem is knowing exactly what you're looking for if you've not used it before. Over the years I have tried many cloths which I thought would do what I wanted but in the end have always come back to the same cloth, mainly because the the 'nap' or pile density seems to really suit my styles.

I use two different cloths, one made in the UK and the other is imported from Italy. For anybody interested in trying it, I do sell it via e-bay (search under artists pastel cloth) but for you guys over the pond the exchange rate may make it an expensive purchase? However, at least you would have something to go out and try and source in your country.

I haven't yet had a chance yet to figure out how to upload one of my pictures on this site, but will do that next. (on my e-bay ad there are a few pictures but not very big and low resolution so don't really do things justice - but gives an idea of my style.

Happy to do a work in progress in the future. Probably best if tonight I started with how I prepare the cloth for using different techniques - Let me know, I wont type endlessly and bore people rigid if there's no interest.

Regards
Chris

khourianya
09-27-2005, 04:45 PM
I think you have a captive audience (er, I mean captivated :p) It's hard to bore us with talk of a new surface for our pastels!!! Feel free to tell us all you can. I think there are many people who are highly interested in learning more about this surface and the ways we can use it!

K Taylor-Green
09-27-2005, 05:02 PM
I know that I would like to see this!! I like sueded paper and board, too. My mom used to sew with suede cloth years ago. I wonder if it is the same.
BTW, Chris, welcome to the Pastel Forum!

pastelcloth
09-27-2005, 05:57 PM
Ok here goes! however, I warn the purists of pastelists out there to look away at this stage, as when I work I use an hot iron (both direct onto the pastel and through gauzes), liberal amounts of hairspray, gel and starch. Only the centuries will decide if my pictures stand the test of time but I paint for now and enjoy!

Consider - should I strech over a stretcher or stick the cloth to mountboard? I do both or a combination of the two! What do I mean? I have a large board which has carpet gripper rods all the way round which I stretch the cloth onto, this allows me to work really wet with pastels creating washes. If this was stuck to mountcard at this stage it would tend to 'cockle'. Next I dry off with a hairdryer and hot iron over the entire picture with a clean non steam iron on a fairly hot setting. This smoothes the nap and further presses the pastel into the fibres. Then I stick to my board using a thin spray of pH neutral spray adhesive direct to the reverse of the cloth ( I have pictures now 15 years old and show no sign of the adhesive bleeding through).

Any questions so far?

Dark_Shades
09-27-2005, 06:09 PM
Am all ears lol ....... would love to see some photos of your work too ....... am off searching you out on Ebay now :)

Dark_Shades
09-27-2005, 06:12 PM
Well I found you immediately :)
the cloth looks very intriquing too ........ love your work from what I can see - the Alsation looks stunning......

Do hope we get to see close ups as well

Pastel Cloth on Ebay (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Artists-Pastel-Cloth_W0QQitemZ8221102236QQcategoryZ48092QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

Might have to have a dabble at this myself

Dark_Shades
09-27-2005, 06:19 PM
Consider - should I strech over a stretcher or stick the cloth to mountboard? I do both or a combination of the two! What do I mean? I have a large board which has carpet gripper rods all the way round which I stretch the cloth onto, this allows me to work really wet with pastels creating washes. If this was stuck to mountcard at this stage it would tend to 'cockle'. Next I dry off with a hairdryer and hot iron over the entire picture with a clean non steam iron on a fairly hot setting. This smoothes the nap and further presses the pastel into the fibres. Then I stick to my board using a thin spray of pH neutral spray adhesive direct to the reverse of the cloth ( I have pictures now 15 years old and show no sign of the adhesive bleeding through).

Any questions so far?


So you dont mat and frame your works behind glass?
No droppage of Pastel?

pastelcloth
09-27-2005, 06:27 PM
You should also consider what overall appearance you want i.e totally smooth, semi rough or with a canvas / ingres look. To achieve a totally smooth effect add just a little starch to the water when wetting the cloth (when ironing it then seems to flatten out the fibres and give you more of a surface akin to to watercolour paper. Adding more starch but not ironing gives you a semi rough feel. Achieving the canvas /ingres look it done by just using water and ironing firmly over the surface with muslin.

Will do in bit size chunks like this as there may be questions.

pastelcloth
09-27-2005, 06:45 PM
In answer to 'do I mat and frame behind glass?'

Yes I do but there is virtually no droppage, for me it is more to protect from the elements and people touching. However, some years ago I helped a sunday school by doing a backdrop for their Xmas nativity, amazingly each year they roll it up and pack it away and it still looks good, without much sign of wear.

Even when doing on a large stretcher I would choose to frame - you should be able to use perspex without the hassle of static.

pastelcloth
09-27-2005, 07:24 PM
So you dont mat and frame your works behind glass?
No droppage of Pastel?

Still trying to get the hang of threads! see answer in separate reply.

Bringer
09-27-2005, 08:07 PM
Hi,

I once asked about velour paper here, but it's not sold.
However in a paper store they showed me this kind of red bright cloth that reminded velour.
I was told that it's sometimes used among other things for gift wrapping (if I'm not wrong) or to put over wood to protect. Just like people used to put paper inside the cupboards, I think.
Or I may be totally wrong....

Regards,

José

pastelcloth
09-28-2005, 03:18 PM
Jose,

Suspect this would be a type of felt or baize type material - a nightmare to pastel on!

Chris

pastelcloth
09-28-2005, 03:31 PM
Below is an extract from my beginners factsheet - although it repeats alot of what has previously been discussed there are a few further tips:


Getting Started



You’ll need the following items:



Iron, Hairspray (you can use proper pastel fixative but I think on cloth this is a waste of money), Spray Starch, Hairdryer, PH neutral spray adhesive, Mountboard and an assortment of nail emery boards (try to get the thin waterproof ones)



I strongly suggest you cut 4 pieces of cloth approx A3 size and steam iron each piece on both sides to eliminate any creases (don’t be afraid to iron hard). From here you can work by stretching onto a stretcher and paint as you would on canvas

(I have seen some superb very large pastels done this way).

However, to start with you’d be advised to stick the cloth to some mountboard with PH neutral spray adhesive and again iron with firm pressure to ensure a consistent surface.

TIP: use a non-steam warm setting to prevent the board ‘cockling’.



Piece 1



Have a play with various pastel types and see just how different it is to paper. Observe how soft pastels get drunk into the velvety fibres whilst harder pastels are more difficult to use - experiment with your style and techniques.

Tip: try spraying the surface lightly with hairspray to fix pastels, then place some greaseproof paper over the surface and iron – note the changes to the overall look and feel, keep repeating. As the surface becomes harder try blending with the emery board to create some lovely half tones. Also try hot ironing a piece of muslin firmly over the surface, the impression left gives a nice canvas / ingres look. With a few more sprays of hairspray you’ll feel like you’re working on paper.



Piece 2



Spray liberally with starch and work into the cloth with your fingertips, gently wipe off the excess and allow to dry – speed up the process with your hairdryer if you like. Once dry, you have a totally different surface! More akin to semi rough sandpaper that allows for more traditional strokes and results. This method is very good when using oil pastels.

TIP: Try blending with the emery board (snip the tips off to create different shaped ends) and observe how you can get back to a soft velvety effect in places.





Piece 3



Wipe over the entire surface with a wet lint free cloth, aim for a thoroughly damp surface but not flooded with water (unless you want a thin wash effect). Take your pastels and have a good play blending with fingertips, rubbers, brushes and emery board. I have found that the harder pastels such as Conte sticks work best here as the softer pastels can end giving you a muddy mess. Try doing a skyline and see how quick you can achieve a wonderful merged effect (work light to dark). Use pieces of sponge or cotton wool to take out colour just like you would when doing a watercolour wash.

TIP: Unfortunately what you see wet will not be what you get when dry – the overall appearance is much lighter. There are several ways round this, which I cover in detail in my workshop courses. However, try spraying several light coats of hairspray, which will normally darken the effect almost back to the original look without ‘dulling’. I would then iron over some muslin and complete with a final spray of hairspray. Once fully dry you have either a fully finished picture or a good under painting to continue working dry as with piece 1.





Piece 4



This is your chance to really experiment with different mixed media as an under painting and is the technique I tend to favour most. Prepare your cloth as with piece 3 but try using neocolor sticks, watercolour, gouche or acrylics combined with pastels this time. The trick is to experiment and see how they dry and what effect it has on the surface – hard or soft? You can also use turpentine and oil pastels – the choices are endless and only limited by what effect you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to be heavy handed - you’ll find the cloth very forgiving and not adverse to going through the washing machine if it all goes wrong! Some of my best work has been done on cloth that went in the washer a few times.

Trilby
09-28-2005, 10:00 PM
Well this is totally fascinating! When I saw the title of the thread I thought it was another on the frustrations of using velor so skipped over it til now. I'm glad I tuned in. Whoever is popping the corn had better make a big batch. Can't wait to see your work posted. Oh and a big welcome to the forum.
TJ

pastelcloth
09-29-2005, 06:57 PM
Thank you TJ.

I'm having all sorts of problems trying to upload any images because of 'cookies' (despite having them disabled), so any help would be greatly received.
Meantime, can only do as an attachment!

Attachment is a detail from one of my pictures when hopefully demonstrates the pastel wash effect that is achieved when working wet ( very similiar to the look of watercolour). Further down you see the familiar look of traditional pastel strokes. Interestingly, you can 'flick' the cloth (like you would a towel when on a beach) and it has no effect!

Chris

HarvestMoon
10-03-2005, 07:12 PM
I have tried a couple of pictures on velour- and really loved it- I am saving the rest of the pad for when I am worthy of actually using it well- it is lovely and I noticed that many of the older book authors use it

Khadres
10-03-2005, 07:37 PM
Sounds very fascinating! This stuff sounds almost indestructible! Wish they had it here and readily available!