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Old 11-26-2011, 12:19 PM
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smooth pastel paper

As a complete newbie to using soft pastels,I wanted to know if there are certain pastel papers that are very sooth? I am finding it difficult to get detail into my drawings.
I look on the gallery page,and am amazed at the detail on a lot of the works,(eyes on animals/humans,hair,feathers etc.)

Cheers

Brian
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:08 PM
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Re: smooth pastel paper

If you want sanded paper, UArt 800 would be a good choice. Don't know how that would translate into Fisher paper for a UK purchase.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:13 PM
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Re: smooth pastel paper

Thanks Potoma,
forgive my stupidity,,-are snaded papers the smoothest paper then?,its just when I hear sanded/sandpaper I think they are rough.

cheers
Brian
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:23 PM
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Re: smooth pastel paper

800 is very smooth, but does have tooth. It is like very, very fine sand paper from the hardware store. Not sure how it translates into Fisher paper which is roughly (ha!) the European equivalent brand.

If you want exceedingly smooth, just use heat pressed watercolor paper, but nothing so smooth holds many layers for long.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:51 PM
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Re: smooth pastel paper

It's the tooth of the paper that will take more detail than smooth papers, Brian. It's against sense at first, but dry pigment has to have some crevices to snuggle down into. Flat, perfectly smooth paper won't give you that. Fine, fine grit sandpaper, like the UART 800 Bonnie suggests, gives you enough depth to paint the detail you want, but isn't rough like furniture grade sandpaper.
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:00 PM
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Re: smooth pastel paper

You might want to try Canson Mi-Tientes. One side is lightly textured, the other smoother. Definitely use the smooth side. This is a non-sanded paper. The sanded papers come in a wide variety of grits - just like hardware store sandpaper. So they can vary from very rough to quite a bit smoother. The higher the number, the smoother the paper. Just as an experiment you can get 800 grit sandpaper from the hardware store to try it out. Of course, I'm not sure if this numbering system for hardware store sandpaper is the same in other countries - these are US numbers.

No pastel paper is really smooth, as it has to have something to grab hold of the pastel particles.

To get detail, you might need to get some pastel pencils or hard pastels. Or work larger. Getting detail in pastel is not easy, but can be done with practice. Much detail in pastel paintings is suggested, or done by covering a thicker area of pastel to reveal just a thin line underneath.

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Old 11-26-2011, 03:17 PM
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Re: smooth pastel paper

Thanks everyone lots to think about and lots to learn-

Potoma-Fisher paper is available here I have seen it online(not cheap)
Deborah- never thought of it like that-the two papers I bought are Daler Rowney Murano and Blck Canford.The murano seems to have too much texture for me and I have been using the reverse,and the black canford is about the same as the reverse side of the murano.I dont much like either of them.lol.
Don- thanks for the tips,I have some pastel pencils but they just seem to push the soft pastel around,I would think 400 grit or 800 grit sandpaper would eat pastels.May have to try Canson Mi-tentes.
Or splash out on some fisher paper

All the best
Brian
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:22 PM
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Re: smooth pastel paper

Canson isn't reusable very easily, but Fisher should take some scrubbing, b/c you can get it wet and then reuse it. Sanded paper is worth the cost.

Also the difference between 400 and 800 is huge.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:07 PM
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Re: smooth pastel paper

Brian, for a smooth finish, you have two economical options, as I see it: the UK Fisher 400, which, when saturated with pigment, is very smooth, but still takes details. Or the French Clairefontaine PastelMat Card (not to be confused with Sennelier Pastel Card/La Carte). The latter isn't sanded, it has cellulouse fibre that looks and feels very 'wimpy', but it takes a lots of layers. IMHO (or rather IMnsHO = not so Humble) the Fisher is superior.

There's a difference between grain and tooth. Ordinary papers (Canson MT, Ingres) have little tooth although they have grain (a structure). Fisher has a deep tooth, but not so much structure. For a smooth look, you can use paper with a deep tooth, as long as there is little structure. You will need to work more on it, though, which is why I would recommend the PastelMat, as it doesn't have a deep tooth nor a structure.

Edit: the UK Fisher 400 can be re-used innumerable times, which actually makes it great bang for the buck.
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:21 PM
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Re: smooth pastel paper

Thanks Charlie
such great info for a novice like myself.I really have fallen for pastels even though I have only been using them since october,and I didnt want to be put of by the choice of paper I made.
But all this help will keep me keen,

thank all

Brian
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:18 PM
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Re: smooth pastel paper

Hi Brian. I love Canson M/T and 800 Uart, On the M/T I sand the smooth side which gives me a little more tooth. I use a ruff sand paper. If i get deep scratches in it the pastels will fill it in. and yes you don't get much tooth in the M/T. but it's cheep enought to practice and paint on for finished workes also.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:49 PM
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Re: smooth pastel paper

I've had good results on Canson Mi-Tientes smooth side. Some artists scuff it up a little with fine sandpaper (hardware store type) before using it, to give it more tooth. I'll speak up for the PastelMat too. It feels as if it's got a smooth surface and it'll hold a fine line as if it's smooth, but it's like painting on the sticky side of tape. Colourfix Suede is a similar product worth trying.
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Old 11-27-2011, 03:54 AM
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Re: smooth pastel paper

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsloan2
... PastelMat .... it's like painting on the sticky side of tape.

Yes, exactly! What a great similie!
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Old 11-27-2011, 03:13 PM
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Re: smooth pastel paper

Thanks,
Pete and Robert,lots more info to consider,
If I could get a sample of each it would be good.
In the meantime I will keep practising on my murano paper.

Thanks again
Brian
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:56 PM
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Re: smooth pastel paper

Hi, Brian. You should be able to fine Art Spectrum's Colourfix Suede papers in England. It comes in 8 colors. This is a fine-toothed sanded pastel paper very much like the Pastelmat that Charlie mentioned. The Mi-Tientes is not an archival paper and hardly any tooth at all and all but the lighter colors will fade considerably!!!

If your dealer does not happen to carry the Colourfix Suede yet, then you can get the original Colourfix papers (in 20 colors!) and use a fine grade of sand paper to sand down the surface to a finer grade. I've done this often before the advent of the Suede and it works beautifully! Best wishes! Donna ;-}
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