View Full Version : Pastelmat - color choice

Kathryn Wilson
02-17-2010, 10:03 AM
So many of you have tried the Pastelmat paper and I'd like to give it a go, but there are so many color choices, so help me out here and tell me your favorite color to work on - subject you used (landscape, portrait, still life).

Does it take underpainting well?

I really don't want to order the smaller pads, so choosing a color for the bigger sheets is important -

Dark Grey
Light Grey

Thanks for your help!

02-17-2010, 11:59 AM
Takes wet underpainting real well. I didn't tape it down, just clamped it, and that left indentations. Thread here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=595661), with good pic of wc underpainting. It curls, so it needs to dry flat.

I always want as light paper as can be found, as I want to control value and colour with the underpainting. I found the white, light grey, maize and sand to be good. Light grey is nearly 'white'.


02-17-2010, 12:03 PM
Thanks for posting this Kat and Charlie for your response. I need to give it a try myself.

Kat - I think I used the dark grey - but I'd definitely agree with Charlie that a neutral would be better for portraits I think.

Haven't tried wetting it yet.


02-17-2010, 12:04 PM
I used anthracite for a still life of goalie skates with a blue background and really liked it. I have used the sienna for a portrait and wasn't overly enthused about it. I am planning to do a large scale white anemone on the anthracite soon.

But if it will take a wet underpainting, then go light and create your own colour base. Lots of options.

Deborah Secor
02-17-2010, 12:31 PM
My favorite is the buttercup yellow:


I don't know what others are calling it! It's a dynamite color for complementary paintings like this:


I also enjoy using the Sienna color, too, since I sometimes want a warmer base:


And I like the white to underpaint, this one a bright blue:

Hope that's helpful.


Kathryn Wilson
02-17-2010, 12:45 PM
Wow - thanks for all the help -

Deborah, seeing the paintings you did on each color is very helpful. I think your Buttercup is their "Sand".

Charlie, Barb, Terri your advice is invaluable in not wasting my money on paper that I won't like or use :)

02-17-2010, 03:05 PM
I love the Anthracite. If you ever like working on black, the Anthracite is something a bit special -- it's a glittery black, not quite true black. So black strokes will show on it but it makes light colors pop so well.

I wound up buying all the colors because I'm a color nut and love tinted surfaces, using different colors for different subjects and effects. Anthracite is so pretty in itself that I'd use it more for drawing than painting, for subjects where I want the surface to show and looser techniques that fade off into it.

Here's something I did on Anthracite.


The sparkly effect isn't as intense in the scan but in person this is so striking. Here's one that I did on brown too.

I was able to get good coverage on the darker colors. But if you're mainly into being able to do underpainting, then go for white or light gray.

If you want two colors and ever enjoyed working on a dark ground, then Anthracite would make a good second sheet for its special beauty.

Deb, you are inspiring me to try the yellow under a landscape! I love that painting, it's so spectacular!

Deborah Secor
02-17-2010, 05:07 PM
I think your Buttercup is their "Sand".

Yep, if Dakota is any indication, I think you're right.

(Sand, Maize, Dark Grey and Light Gray)

I know that the importers seemed to think most Americans didn't know what color buttercup was (not hard to figure: butter=yellow, right?) But that sure doesn't look like any SAND color I've ever seen! In fact the maize looks like sand, and the sand looks like maize, which I would call yellow. :confused: Not to muddy the water, but....... I'm just sayin'.


Kathryn Wilson
02-17-2010, 05:36 PM
Robert - that wolf painting is my favorite of yours - I love working on black, so might give that one a try.

Deborah - I like "buttercup" better :)

02-17-2010, 06:21 PM
Buttercup is one of my favorites. And if doing an underpainting white is a good choice. I have all the colors in two different pads, but when I do buy the larger sheets my choices will be buttercup
(sand) sienna and white for the same reasons Deborah gave. I do like most of the colors though.