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Friday, August 10, 2012

Pastel FAQ ...Favorite Pastel Paper

'Time is Golden'        16x20           pastel             ©Karen Margulis   $250 paypal here

The painting before I changed it
Let's talk about pastel paper. I am often asked what my favorite paper is. I'll answer that question as the first installment of my Pastel FAQ Friday Feature.  Every Friday I will try to answer a pastel related question that I have been asked. If you have a question please ask me in a comment or email me.

Paper....I have not come across a paper that I dislike. I have discovered through much trial and error that different papers suit different subjects and techniques. Some papers are wonderful for detail, some do great with wet underpaintings, some take many layers and some are good for quick studies. I like to keep several types of paper on hand and I make a choice depending on what I am going to paint. I also prefer to buy full sheets and cut them to size as I need to.

Even though I like most of the papers available on the market there are some I use more and there is one paper that I would choose if I was going to be stranded on a desert island and could only bring one paper.  I tend to use sanded papers most often though I do like Canson for a change of pace or when I don't want to do an underpainting.  I like hard surfaces such as Pastelbord for the ease of framing and for wet underpaintings but I prefer the 'give' of paper rather that the stiffness of a board.

So what is my top personal favorite paper *******drumroll********** It would have to be Uart sanded  Paper. I prefer the middle grade grits 500 and 600.  It has a nice even sanded surface and comes in a manilla color which doesn't bother me. It takes many layers and it takes abuse such as layering with fixative and wet underpaintings. In fact that is why I love it. Uart paper rarely buckles or gets wavy when wet. I don't even have to drymount it. I just tape it to my board and it stays nice and flat. I can take it on plein air outings and not worry about mounting the paper (saves room)

So there is my answer to my favorite pastel paper. What is your favorite? Why do you like it?

Today's painting is another demo that I didn't finish. I wanted to give it a different mood so I changed the color palette by using fixative and different colors.


Vanessa said...

I've only recently begun experimenting with sanded paper. Do you find that your colours are more vibrant on the sanded surface? They also seem as though they are good for detail, have you found that to be the case too?

Right now my favourite paper is "water colour paper", which I prime using "gesso acrylic ground". I also like to tint my paper by applying a pigment to the ground.

I'm so loving your blog posts. The explanations and examples have been so helpful!

Karen said...

Thanks Vanessa! I am so glad you are enjoying my blog posts! I find that I work mostly on sanded paper so I had to think hard about your question. I think what I discovered is you need a different touch when working on non sanded paper. Since you don't get as many layers you need to start with a lighter touch, But doing that I can get detail and vibrancy too. But since I love wet underpaintings I use sanded paper more often!

Karin Goeppert said...

My favourite paper is Fisher 400 which is very similar to UArt, the middle grit and it comes in the same colour as UArt. Actually I love both of them - the only pity is neither of them you can get in Germany.

Vanessa talks about that the colours seem more vibrant on sanded paper. I heard that before. A friend of mine switched to sanded paper and he noticed that too right away. So I guess there must be something to it.

Karen said...

Karin,thanks for your comment. I am going to have to do a little test today to see if I can tell a difference in vibrancy!! We don't have the Fisher paper here so I haven't tried it. I love to try new papers!

Karin Goeppert said...

I love to try new papers too - but I definitely prefer a sanded surface. And what I forgot earlier: for me a safe bet is always Sennelier's La Carte (of course no underpaintings possible there) and I like Pastel Mat.
But you are right for a little change of pace Mi-Teintes is exhiting. Do you also use the backside then?

Unknown said...

I haven't used too many different ones yet Karen, but of those I have, I'm with you on the Uart sanded. The way the pastel goes onto that stuff is positivley sensual!! I purchased their pack of different grade sheets to see how I liked it. I now MUST buy some larger sheets!