View Full Version : How difficult to use is velour?

11-04-2010, 12:23 AM
I just received my sample pack from DP, and I'm dying to try the velour. I've read bits and pieces from other people who think it's a little difficult to work with. Is it easy to remove mistakes? As a new pastelist, I make a lot, and I'm wondering how this paper will hold up to repeated changes. How many layers of pastel does it hold? I see many people using it for animals and portraits. How does it work with landscapes? Does it like hard versus soft pastels or performs equally well with both? I just ordered my Unisons, finally, and am anxious to get started. Any info you can provide would be great before I dive in. :confused: Thanks!!

11-04-2010, 05:23 AM
Hi Lisa, I am not a normal user of velour but my last piece of an
Afghan hound was I thought more suited to it than my usual Pastelmat.
These are just my feelings on it.
I transferred a basic outline but the transfer with the transfer paper wasn't
too successful so I re-did it. Can't erase mistakes ... but as with the transfer I got to go over it with pastel anyway so that part was fine.
It doesn't feel as if it grabs the pastel but it does, and you cannot blend at
all on it until a good few layers are down. I didn't blend at all and I normally do quite a lot. You can use a short hard bristle brush and work it deep into the pile if you need to loosen the pastel and re-blend it.......put a line down and you're stuck with it, but this way you can at least get it to give a little.
Detail......mmm.....yes but only if you work really hard at it.
For me velour suits the soft focus effect, for hard detail I would choose a
paper more suited to getting detail.
You have to almost drive the pastel into it so that you then have the top
layer to work on, hard to explain :wink2:
I know you have seen some of my work so if you look at the horse and
wolfhound they were on Pastelmat and I got some detail that would have
been impossible for me on velour, especially the horse, the Wolfhound
just would have had a different effect.
Velour is something people love or hate yet I am in the middle and I don't
mind using it if the subject suits.
Hope it helps a little. :crossfingers:


11-04-2010, 05:50 AM
Hi, Sharron,

I haven't tried Pastelmat yet, but perhaps I'm not quite ready to try either after reading your post. As I said, I do make a lot of mistakes that I can usually work out somehow on other papers, but if this is fairly unforgiving, I think it better to get more experience under my belt first. It feels so nice that it's been beckoning to me since the sample pack arrived. Alas, all good things come to those who wait, I guess. Thanks for your advice and for sharing your beautiful works of art!!

11-04-2010, 06:26 AM
Lisa, you have so many wonderful discoveries ahead of you! You'll find that the combination of paper and pastel brand matters, too.

Velour now... hate/love, yes, that's it for me. I love how a stroke goes on it in a diffused way, and how easy it is to layer (because of the layering, it doesn't matter so much you can't erase, just paint over it). But, at least with the velour I've tried, I've found that only the harder pastels stay on it, the softer ones simply fall off.

Pastelmat would be a good paper. For example, you can erase, with an eraser. It can be re-used, just brush off the top layers, and re-use. (Or erase bottom layers, and re-use.) No initial blending, just as velour and sanded papers.

If you want a *really* forgiving paper, which allows for many layers, try Uart and Wallis.

11-04-2010, 07:36 AM
Lisa, I would just jump straight in and use the velour.
I am so new to painting (14 months) that I really can't offer any
advice or criticism on what to do. However as a newbie myself I
can say that I have just bought 10 large sheets of Fisher 400 that
arrived yesterday afternoon and I have never tried anything like it
but hear good things. Will it suit me? No idea, but I am going to have
lots and lots of fun seeing what I can do with it. That to me is what
I am doing it for, fun and experimentation. If one piece goes wrong
you can re-use velour by using a stiff brush and scrub it and bang it
until most of it comes off, then off you go again.
Every piece of paper and colour and subject is different for me to tackle
and I am sure for you too, so just jump in and use a piece and don't
get too comfortable with just one sort of paper. Try different ones in
equal measure so you can judge accurately what each one can do.
Ramble over, off to find my next subject for my new paper.
We can experiment together.....lol

11-04-2010, 10:11 AM
My experience with velour is similar to what has been stated, but I find it to be the easiest surface to work on. Why? Because you put down a pastel stroke and it stays. And you can vary the pressure with a single pastel, making darker strokes if you press harder. Both these factors allow for a more subtle treatment than I can get on any other paper.

You can't really blend or erase, but you can cover endlessly. I also find that the middle softness pastels (Rembrandt, Girault) work better than the really soft brands. The really soft brands seem like they work well, but the do fall off on occasion. With the medium sticks, you end up pressing down into the texture a bit, which keeps the pastel dust more securely fastened. Many people will burnish the pastel when it is done, pressing the pastel into the paper.

Since it is harder to get thin, hard lines, I always work fairly large when using velour.


11-04-2010, 11:44 PM
You've all given me some really good information that I will use for future works. I am a bit of a daredevil, like Sharron, and maybe just jumping right in is the best way to test the waters. However, I am glad you told me about the soft pastels falling off the velour, as I just ordered my Unison Landscape set. I would have been pulling my hair out trying to figure out what was going wrong. I will either try hard or mediums, as Don suggested, and see what magic, or not, I can create. I like the idea I can just paint over my mistakes rather than erasing them. I think I will try Pastelmat after I finish with this sample pack from Dakota...thanks for pointing me their way, Don! Thanks for your suggestions, Charlie. I really appreciate it!

11-05-2010, 05:09 AM
I used Unisons from the Landscape set for my background and
foreground grasses on my Afghan. It grabbed them more than
my usual Pastelmat and stayed put, no movement at all.
I took the painting attached to a board 3 times it's size outside
to photograph, lifted it onto a waist high table, stood back and
it fell to the ground with a big whack face down :eek: I didn't dare pick
it up, but all was fine as you can see :smug:
Also used Unisons for some final bits on the dog itself


11-05-2010, 10:45 AM
I would definitely try the Unisons. It depends very much on the person's technique as to whether or not they have problems. If you are one of those people who like to tap the back of the piece to knock off access dust, this would be a good test!


11-05-2010, 11:09 AM
Sharron, good to know about the unisons on velour! Thanks. (Schmincke just fell off -- all of the three top layers... an avalanche.)