View Full Version : Pastelmat versus Velour

09-24-2011, 06:52 AM
What is the diference between Pastelmat and Velour?

I know Velour, I have used it sometimes sucessfully, sometimes terrible badly.

Now I have been using Fisher 400 but it eats so much pastel it worries me!
I love details and the paper is to paint cats mainly. Velour is not my friend right now. Would pastelmat be better? Why?

Thank you in advance!

09-24-2011, 08:28 AM
I've only used Pastelmat once. For one thing, I had virtually no dust, so pastel was staying where it was put and not being wasted.

For another, it should be more forgiving.

09-24-2011, 08:45 AM
Ive used it a couple of times and find it works ok with pencil but the tooth gets full pretty quick with the softer sticks.
Give it a try :D

Barbara WC
09-24-2011, 10:47 AM
PastelMat and Velour are so very different!

I don't like the heavily sanded papers like Wallis, don't like Velour, but PastelMat is my new favorite surface!

It feels very soft- kind of like a stiffer Velour with less nap. When I first used it, I thought, this is so much like Velour, surely I'll hate it. Found out it actually it holds many, many layers and leaves almost no dust in my catch tray compared to all other papers- compared to Canson Mi-teintes, Wallis, Sennelier La Carte and UArt (which I think is like your Fisher).

I don't know how such a soft surface with seeminly little "tooth" can hold so much pastel so tightly, but it does! And, you can rub with your fingers and not get your fingertips sanded off! The paper also doesn't eat my pastel sticks like the other sanded papers.

One of the things I like, details are easy to create on this paper, or you can be loose and painterly. When I tried Velour, I always had a "soft" edge, whether I wanted it or not. To be fair, I only worked on Velour one time, didn't even finish the painting...

I think the paper is magic. I'm hooked and am working almost exclusively on it (except occasional Canson Mi-teintes paintings).

This paper has changed my pastel work- I had given up on all sanded papers and was working on Canson only, occasionally La Carte (which I like okay, but don't love), but I finally found a perfect paper for me! :wave:

One thing to note though: I find it harder to brush out mistakes compared to the other sanded papers I've mentioned, but it can be done with patience, a stiff bristle brush and erasure- this is not a big deal for me, but it is something to be aware of.

09-24-2011, 11:36 AM
Pastel Mat, definitely. It feels like wimpy velour, but it holds softer pastels much better (erm... as velour doesn't hold super softies at all, anything is better), and is good for details (which is not the strong point of velour). And, you can use an eraser on the PM, gently. PM holds a surprising amount of layers, but not as many as Fisher. PM eats less dust. It can be difficult to use hard pencils for finishing details, this is where F is superior (as long as there is tooth left).

09-24-2011, 12:03 PM
. It can be difficult to use hard pencils for finishing details, this is where F is superior (as long as there is tooth left).
Thats what puts me off it, it *is* great to use for all the other reasons but I often like to use some pencil in the final layer and if Ive used even one full layer of sennelier I find it difficult, two layers and its impossible.
Whereas I havent yet quite managed to run out of tooth on the Fisher sanded :lol:

But if you do the whole thing in pencil or use some of the harder pastels then its possible to use pencil in the final layer.

There are some brilliant artists on here that use it, but also some that use velour and in fact anything really, so that doesnt neccessarily mean its the right one for you.

But its definitely worth trying.

09-24-2011, 01:08 PM
Pastelmat and velour are really not similar at all. The only slight similarity is at the initial stage, the Pastelmat really grabs the pastel and holds it. I find this somewhat of a disadvantage because when I use a sanded paper like Uart, I can put down a little pastel and then smudge/blend it to cover a larger area when I first block in larger areas of color. (This will also save you a lot of pastel-eating on the sanded papers). But with Pastelmat, you can not push the pastel dust around on the initial layer - it just sticks. In this way, it is similar to velour, but that is about it. On the other hand this means less dust and a firmer foundation.

In general though, I really like the Pastelmat. In my experience, it doesn't hold that many layers, but as you can see, others finds that it holds many! Obviously, it depends on the brands of pastel and the individual's technique.

Since it came out, I would say that the Pastelmat has had the most favorable response of any of the pastel papers. Almost everybody seems to like it - so you should definitely give it a try!


09-24-2011, 09:54 PM
I've used both PastelMat and velour. I love the PastelMat especially with hard pastels, pastel pencils, Pan Pastels and medium soft pastels. It really holds the dust. It's like painting on the sticky side of tape. Have a go at it, just don't expect it to smudge as easily as other papers.

Velour won't hold detail much, so I tend to work large on it and use medium-soft pastels like Rembrandt, Art Spectrum and so on. PastelMat holds detail beautifully. For lots of layering and blending I'd use Colourfix.

These papers each have a unique texture. Sanded papers do take more of your pastels but the only one I noticed that was way over the top on this is Wallis, the Colourfix doesn't seem to do it as much. It depends on the grit too and how deep the tooth is. It helps to underpaint if using sanded papers or use a colored one and let the paper surface become part of your painting.

09-25-2011, 12:33 AM
Thank you all of you for all the info on my question. Really thank you!

Now I have another question, just to make sure Im going to buy the right paper.

Is "ClaireFontaine PastelMat" the same Pastelmat paper we are all talking about? Or is there a ClaireFontaine one and a different paper called just Pastelmat?

I saw a review that says Pastelmat is a velvety surface, that is why I asked about how it matches the velour surface. Is it as fragile as velour regards pastel falling off it? I will be using only hard pastels and Rembrandt/pencils.

Thank you, again!

09-25-2011, 03:10 AM
ClaireFontaine Pastelmat is the same as the pastelmat we are talking about here. And when you first feel it it doesn't feel like it has much tooth but it really holds the pastel and you can use many layers depending on how heavy a hand you have. You can start pushing it around after the second layer. the first layer stays put, you can't move it but you can erase some areas by using a kneaded eraser and just pushing it into the area to pick up some pastel and then using a clean area of the eraser to do it again until you get enough of it off. You can also do an under painting and use water to set it or alcohol or turpenoid(blue can.) or other OMS. Then you can start putting he actual pastel layers on top. this way you don't need quite as much pastel on top. But when you do an under painting don't use too much pastel or it will fill the tooth too quickly. I love pastelmat and use medium to soft pastels on it and sometimes start with the harder ones. I don't use pastel pencils at all although i plan to in the future. But then I am one to not like too much detail. I paint landscapes and flowers and still life's. But mostly landscapes in pastel. I think you will really like it. there is also colorfix suede which I have but haven't tried it yet. i would think you could get some nice detail on that one although it doesn't hodl as many layers as the sanded papers(I've been told this) I have mine still in storage from my move but i have my pastelmat out and also some larger sheets of it(I have three different sized pads of it and he pads are interleaved with glassine to protect your painting. Except for the first one, which I don't understand why they don't have one for that first paper. But these are nice to take with you if you go to paint somewhere other than your own place. Also,it is on quite a stiff card similar to LaCarte paper.


09-27-2011, 10:47 PM
Thank you Sara!

I got one more question.
When people refer to "Clairefontaine", is there only ONE Clairefontaine paper (which would be Pastelmat) or there are a few kinds of paper made by Clairefontaine?

I saw this video demo and the artist uses Clairefontaine Card or Canford Card (around 280gsm to 300gsm).

Is that the same Pastelmat?

09-28-2011, 05:18 AM
Clairefontaine (the name of the company) makes many papers. The one we're talking about is Clairefontaine PastelMat Card, usually shortened to PastelMat.

09-28-2011, 05:33 AM
Thank you Charlie.

Then when the artist said " Clairefontaine card" it was Pastelmat.

So is "Canford card" not related to the Clairefontaine company?