View Full Version : VELOUR paper horror story!

aspiring artist
05-01-2002, 11:46 AM
Do you have experience working with velour paper? If so, what am I missing here?!

I inherited several sheets of velour paper (not sure of the brand name, as nothing is written on the back.)
My day-long painting on this velour paper taught me that hard pastels are a no-go. They merely scar the paper and don't lay down any color whatsoever. Same (really worse) with pastel pencils. Only the very softest pastels make a mark.

Hours and hours later . . . I took my finished pastel painting outside to tap the back of the paper to dislodge any loose pastel particles, and ....


....... almost the entire painting fell off at my feet in a pile of dirty pastel dust!

What did I do wrong?

05-01-2002, 04:19 PM
OMG!!!! I have never used velour paper, but have seen it at the art store. Based on your horror story....I'll be staying away from that. Sorry to hear about the mess :(


05-02-2002, 01:45 AM
I have never heard of velour paper but have tried a few small pieces of suede mat. It was so completely different to use. I really liked how dense the color went on but couldn't get any sharp lines with my soft pastels. I have friends who use it exclusively. I'm too new at this to know what I prefer. But I have another portrait planned that I will try on suede mat. I will keep you posted.

05-02-2002, 02:41 AM
Hi there. I have yet to try the velour paper, but have managed to find a supply source in NZ, and have ordered some.
I visited a guy's site who paints pastel portraits exclusively on velour. He may be able to help you if you email him. He seems very approachable after I had a query to him.
Here is his site...
Give him a tinkle and see how you get on.

05-02-2002, 03:11 AM
I have used velour paper a couple times for some seascapes using acrylic paint. This was some time ago. But from what I remember of the texture it is a velvet. It has a nap and is mostly used for stencil and paint work.

My guess would be that the nap surface is too loose to hold soft pastel. It just does'nt have the same texture as a good pastel paper. Soft pastel is almost ground into the tighter tooth or grain of a paper, some artists prepare a stiff board by coating it with an abrasive such as pumice as a work surface, but velour is more like a cloth. It's abrasive enough to allow the pastel to rub off, but not tight enough to hold it.

I have no idea whether oil pastels would work. I would think that the velour surface may tend to get gummed-up if too much blending is done.

But, you never know until you try. Perhaps you can find a way to make soft pastels and velour work. Maybe some surface preparation of some sort.

Good luck. Don't get discouraged.


05-02-2002, 04:17 AM
I stand corrected.

I've looked at Carols link for the velour portrait artist. Very impressive. It seems someone has already figured out how to use velour successfully.
I have noticed that he makes his own custom pastel sticks because the average pastel color choices and hardness were not quite suitable for velour work. Although it seems he does recommend Sennelier and Schminke pastels if you can't make your own.

I'm still not quite sure of his method, but the results are amazing

If you go to his How To section you can read more about his technique.


05-05-2002, 03:57 PM
Although I've used velour quite a bit in the past, I use suede mat board instead now.

Few tips for velour -- some you've figured out already from just trying it :)

1) Use soft pastels only -- however, please note:

Even some Sennelier will scratch instead of color the surface. The best I've found are (in order of softness and best application):

a) Schmincke
b) Terry Ludwig
c) Unison
d) Rowney
e) Winsor & Newton (some colors will scratch)
f) Rembrandt (there's not many that WON'T scratch)
g) Nupastel and anything else considered "hard"
h) Sennelier. They tend to be overtly gritty and that plays havoc with velour.

If it's not on the above list and is considered a soft pastel, then I haven't tried it on velour.

2) Don't knock your painting when you are done. Instead, VERY CAREFULLY use a can of compressed air at a respectable distance and lightly blow off any loose and excess dust. Good luck! :)

3) The best velour that I've used is the stuff I've purchased from Art Supply Warehouse (http://www.aswexpress.com). IMHO it's better than Hahnemühle and doesn't shed fibers near as much. The worst I've used was the National Velour stuff I bought from MisterArt.com

You CAN produce some great stuff on velour. It's a pita to frame, however.

Here's one of my velour pieces, a study of Froud's "Greenwoman":


Yes, you CAN get very detailed and produce fine lines on velour. Use thin pastels (such as Rowney) or sharpen your soft pastels to points.

Best Tip for Velour:
Use suede mat board instead :)


Here's one of my suede pieces, A' Cumail Faire Oirnn:


Pastel on suede doesn't fall off. You can knock it if you want. I've used Nupastel in places on the above. Carefully, mind you, but it's there :)

Hope this help some. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask!

aspiring artist
05-06-2002, 12:06 PM
Thank you very much, Roan, for your thorough explanation of painting with pastels on velour, and which pastels do and do not work.

I appreciate your sharing your vast knowledge in this area.
I think - given your comments, and what I learned from my experience - that I will avoid velour and stick with Kitty Wallis paper, which is a joy and a delight.

Thanks again!