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catherinecreaney
11-01-2011, 02:38 PM
Hi I'm about to start two portraits I've been commissioned to create in pastel and was looking to try a new pastel paper or card. The scale of these works will be quite large so I imagine a study card would suit better. I've usually used Daler Rowney Ingres pastel paper in the past but would like to try something new and of better quality. I would appreciate any recommendations as I haven't a clue what papers and cards are the best. I want something that comes in a range of colours and is a thick paper/ card and has a nice texture or tooth to the paper but not to an extreme extent as I want to be able to capture loads of details as I'm doing portraits. Also want something of high quality that will stand the test of time.

Thanks for any advice

Catherine

Lynndidj
11-01-2011, 04:29 PM
Catherine,

I'm not sure what is available in Ireland, but LaCarte is a wonderful surface to work on, with one warning. Do not get it wet - like not even a little bit of spit if you blow on something. The surface has a light texture to it and would be lovely for portraits. The other option would be a fine sandpaper, like UArt 800 that would give you some tooth, but not too much. There are others here on WC who are from Europe who might be able to give you better guidance on what is available. The LaCarte comes in a range of colors, the UArt only comes in a beige, but you can tone the paper with watercolor, pastel and water, pastel and alcohol, etc. One other option would also be Pastelmat - made by Clairfontaine. It comes in a number of colors, has a thickness to it, and it holds lots of pastel. You can underpaint in watercolor if you wish, but I don't know about the detail. Ruthie57 and Colorix are both good sources of information for you, Ruthie from England and Colorix from Sweden. MaryBrigid is also in Ireland. Hope this helps.

Lynn

Imparatus
11-01-2011, 04:51 PM
My vote would be for Wallis Professional or Museum grade. Several shades, great tooth, GREAT for portrait work, and it can take any liquid media. You can even wash it off in the TUB and start from scratch.

Just my $0.02, but it's what I mostly use.

Colorix
11-01-2011, 04:54 PM
Hello Catherine, Lynn is a great source of information! Catherine, with the wonderful things you do on plain Ingres, my guess is that you'd like the Clairefontaine PastelMat Card (French paper). This paper feels like extremely fine suede, and has no texture or deep tooth, but it still manages to take layers upon layers (it is pure magic!). You can even use an eraser (delicately) to remove pastel dust. The PastelMat takes harder pastels well, as you use pencils it might be an advantage. It comes in many colours. Pretty good for details.

There exists a UK sandpaper, Fisher 400 (made/invented by Tim Fisher), and it is a more 'brutal' paper with plenty of tooth, but it has no texture like the Uart is said to have. Only one colour, sand, but it can be dyed with acrylic inks. Actually, you can test how you'd like this paper by getting some ordinary sandpaper at the hardware store.

These two are the best European papers, in my opinion.

The Sennelier PastelCard (La Carte) is nice, more textured, but as a sneeze can ruin it...

Jackson's in England has both papers. (Last time I looked, they can change things quickly.)

Here's a list with links to UK stores (online ordering):

Clairefontaine pastelmat
www.greatart.co.uk/pastel-pads-paper-1.html

Pastelmat and Fisher 400 paper
www.jacksonsart.co.uk

www.thecsc.co.uk/index.html

pastelmat and Uart sanded paper.
www.saa.co.uk/artmaterials/pastel-paper-pads-1547.html

catherinecreaney
11-01-2011, 05:21 PM
Thanks for the replies, I'm not sure I'm after anything with a sandpaper like finish as it's not the texture I'm after. I use jackson art supplies loads so I'll have a look on there, not sure if I could deal with the stress of working on a paper that even the slightest miniscule speck of moisture could ruin a piece, I never let water get on my pieces anyway but that one sounds quite worrying, especially as these pieces are going to be ambitious. I'll have a look into your recommendations, thank you for all your advice :)

Catherine

Barbara WC
11-01-2011, 07:12 PM
Hi Catherine-

I like Ingres laid papers too, and about the only pastel "cards" that I like are Clairfontaine PastelMat and Sennelier La Carte, most of the other "sanded" papers are too aggressively textured for me.

I mainly work on Canson Mi-tientes, Hahnemühle or Canson Ingres, and PastelMat. Lately I've really enjoyed working on PastelMat, dark gray is a good color and is a great paper for portraiture. One can get a lot of fine detail with PastelMat because of it's fine tooth. It works wonderfully with both soft pastel sticks and pastel pencils. I haven't tried charcoal on it, but think it would be an ideal surface for charcoal as well.

catherinecreaney
11-02-2011, 06:14 PM
Hi Catherine-

I like Ingres laid papers too, and about the only pastel "cards" that I like are Clairfontaine PastelMat and Sennelier La Carte, most of the other "sanded" papers are too aggressively textured for me.

I mainly work on Canson Mi-tientes, Hahnemühle or Canson Ingres, and PastelMat. Lately I've really enjoyed working on PastelMat, dark gray is a good color and is a great paper for portraiture. One can get a lot of fine detail with PastelMat because of it's fine tooth. It works wonderfully with both soft pastel sticks and pastel pencils. I haven't tried charcoal on it, but think it would be an ideal surface for charcoal as well.

Thanks :) That's really helpful, I'll look into these papers, I can imagine the dark grey would work lovely in portraiture, thanks again :)

Catherine

jackiesimmonds
11-03-2011, 06:06 AM
You work on Ingres? I discovered to my horror very early on that it has LAID LINES, or used to anyway, so I always avoided it like the plague.

For simple, good quality PAPER, with no texture as such, the best thing is the smooth side of CANSON MI TEINTE. Most of the images in the row below were painted on that paper.

If you would like to be a little more adventurous, I do think it is worth trying one of the card surfaces . nobody has mentioned the newest to the market, with is CANSON MI-TEINTE TOUCH, I have reviewed it just recently for The Artist, (review will appear in January), I thought it extremely nice to use. No need to panic about it getting wet, it wont hurt it at all, in fact you can do underpaintings on it.

There is a dark grey in the range, if that appeals to you.
if you would like a small sample to try, send me an email to jackiesdesk at gmail.com, I will send you some. (no strings ...I was simply sent quite a lot to try out, also I am in the UK!)

Jackie

catherinecreaney
11-03-2011, 10:37 AM
You work on Ingres? I discovered to my horror very early on that it has LAID LINES, or used to anyway, so I always avoided it like the plague.

For simple, good quality PAPER, with no texture as such, the best thing is the smooth side of CANSON MI TEINTE. Most of the images in the row below were painted on that paper.

If you would like to be a little more adventurous, I do think it is worth trying one of the card surfaces . nobody has mentioned the newest to the market, with is CANSON MI-TEINTE TOUCH, I have reviewed it just recently for The Artist, (review will appear in January), I thought it extremely nice to use. No need to panic about it getting wet, it wont hurt it at all, in fact you can do underpaintings on it.

There is a dark grey in the range, if that appeals to you.
if you would like a small sample to try, send me an email to jackiesdesk at gmail.com, I will send you some. (no strings ...I was simply sent quite a lot to try out, also I am in the UK!)

Jackie

I quite like the texture of Ingres paper, gives a nice effect in my work, I'd like to try something with maybe a velvety texture or less textured surface for a change as my last piece was done on a plain paper with a soft texture and it came out really well, sadly I cant recall what the paper I used is called as it's from a batch I bought years back. The only paper I'd not want to experiment with is the sandpaper texture as I do a lot of blending and fine detail and can't see this working for that look. Thanks for your recommendations, I'm getting loads of good paper choices to try out, gonna buy a good few different types so I can try them out :)

Catherine

robertsloan2
11-03-2011, 11:12 AM
If you're used to Ingres paper and use Canson mi-Tientes, there is also a Canson Mi-Tientes board with the normal paper texture on an archival board. For a large painting, boards could be a bit easier to handle and so would heavy card.

Since you'd be trying a new surface with anything sanded or coated, try to get the ClaireFontaine PastelMat. The surface is very soft and smooth - if you like to keep areas of the surface bare, PastelMat has a lovely look. It holds pastel like you're painting on the sticky side of tape. The down side - if your applications are light, you won't be able to smudge the way you're used to on Ingres and mi-Tientes. It takes a heavy application to be able to smudge on PastelMat.

Art Spectrum Colourfix comes on heavy watercolor paper or board. It's a good stiff card. It's also available as a primer you can paint onto 140lb watercolor paper or heavier. It's a grit surface that comes in 20 colors and looks good when left exposed, but would take some getting used to after being used to non-sanded papers.

You could also get some archival mat board in the colors you like for a background. I've switched to using the archival mat board but always used mat centers as drawing boards - usually comparable to Ingres or M-T for a pastel surface, with the advantage it's a nice stiff light weight board. If you don't mat your own paintings, maybe you can get a local framer to give you some mat scrap to test.

Some techniques work better on sanded or coated surfaces, others on unsanded. If your style is entirely developed for unsanded surfaces, the safe option would be to try something not coated or at least test the sanded or coated surfaces before doing a big painting.

Mat scrap is comparable to pastel papers though, it's a very friendly non sanded surface.

Velvety textures - PastelMat, Colourfix Suede.

Canson mi-Tientes Touch has a very fine grit a little like Colourfix but very super fine. Uart 800 might be cool too for having a fine grit.

Hahnemuhle Velour board or card is literally fuzzy. Be careful with it - soft transitions are easy, it gives a beautiful effect, but the slightest tap will knock half the pastel off. It doesn't hang on to the pigment hard. This can be an advantage for reworking on it. Test it before using, it's very good for animals and sometimes portraits if working large.

catherinecreaney
11-03-2011, 12:15 PM
If you're used to Ingres paper and use Canson mi-Tientes, there is also a Canson Mi-Tientes board with the normal paper texture on an archival board. For a large painting, boards could be a bit easier to handle and so would heavy card.

Since you'd be trying a new surface with anything sanded or coated, try to get the ClaireFontaine PastelMat. The surface is very soft and smooth - if you like to keep areas of the surface bare, PastelMat has a lovely look. It holds pastel like you're painting on the sticky side of tape. The down side - if your applications are light, you won't be able to smudge the way you're used to on Ingres and mi-Tientes. It takes a heavy application to be able to smudge on PastelMat.

Art Spectrum Colourfix comes on heavy watercolor paper or board. It's a good stiff card. It's also available as a primer you can paint onto 140lb watercolor paper or heavier. It's a grit surface that comes in 20 colors and looks good when left exposed, but would take some getting used to after being used to non-sanded papers.

You could also get some archival mat board in the colors you like for a background. I've switched to using the archival mat board but always used mat centers as drawing boards - usually comparable to Ingres or M-T for a pastel surface, with the advantage it's a nice stiff light weight board. If you don't mat your own paintings, maybe you can get a local framer to give you some mat scrap to test.

Some techniques work better on sanded or coated surfaces, others on unsanded. If your style is entirely developed for unsanded surfaces, the safe option would be to try something not coated or at least test the sanded or coated surfaces before doing a big painting.

Mat scrap is comparable to pastel papers though, it's a very friendly non sanded surface.

Velvety textures - PastelMat, Colourfix Suede.

Canson mi-Tientes Touch has a very fine grit a little like Colourfix but very super fine. Uart 800 might be cool too for having a fine grit.

Hahnemuhle Velour board or card is literally fuzzy. Be careful with it - soft transitions are easy, it gives a beautiful effect, but the slightest tap will knock half the pastel off. It doesn't hang on to the pigment hard. This can be an advantage for reworking on it. Test it before using, it's very good for animals and sometimes portraits if working large.


Thanks so much for such detailed advice, that has really helped :) I've learnt so much about different pastel papers from this thread, it's been a real eye opener. I'm off to buy some of your recommendations :)

Catherine