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Monday, September 10, 2012

I Found a New Pastel Paper!

'Poppies Make Me Smile'       8.5 x11       pastel    ©Karen Margulis
available with paypal $75
 What a find!  I was happily filling my cart at Blick's online when I saw a new pastel paper. It was only $13.99 for 25 colored sheets so I had to give it a try.  When the paper arrived I was thrilled that I had ordered it. The feel and the colors were luscious!

It is called Shizen Pastel paper and it is handmade paper from India. It is 100% cotton rag made from discards from the Indian garment industry. And it is made using a pollution free process. It is acid free and is a nice weight of 200 GSM.  The paper has 4 deckled edges that are just too wonderful to hide with a mat.  And best of all the colors are amazing. I used a red piece for the poppy painting but I can't wait to paint on the turquoise piece.  Read on for my review.

An Idea for Framing

Showing off the Deckle Edge

A package of 25 8.5 x 11 sheets of Shizen Pastel Paper

  • FEEL: The paper is nice and soft. It took the pastel very nicely but it is better suited to softest pastels. I noticed that the harder sticks pulled up the nap of the paper. It has a nice weight and just plain feels good!
  • TOOTH:  The paper had a laid texture and a bumpy handmade surface. Since it is handmade the surface is highly irregular and unpredictable (a quality I love)  Since it isn't a sanded paper, it won't take many layers of pastel. But I didn't mind because I didn't want to cover up the wonderful paper color. 
  • I love the deckle edges of this paper. I would definitely want to frame it to showcase the edges although you could certainly use a mat.
  • CONCLUSION:  I like the unique look and feel to this paper. I don't mind that it doesn't take many layers. It forces you to make a mark and leave it.  If you like homemade surfaces and unpredictability, you'll like this paper. If you want a regular, even  surface this paper will make you work a bit outside your comfort zone, but it will be well worth it!
I am going to continue to play with this paper. I will be adding some clear gesso to see if I can add some tooth. I'll report back with more details.
Check out the paper at Blicks HERE


JodyArt said...

Karen, I have been using this natural pastel paper for over a year now. I love the look and the edges you can display when framing. I haven't tried clear gesso on it, may have to give that a try.

dave94015 said...

Thanks for the mention. Hand-made papers have much to offer.

Sherry Schmidt said...

Beautiful piece!

Erica Keener said...

Oh, I might have to try this! But please excuse my ignorance, I'm wondering how you would mount it to show off the edges?

Karen said...

Thank you all for the comments! I haven't framed a pastel like this so I would have to research I assume you would mount it as you would a watercolor of mixed media piece but you would need glass to protect the pastel.

Lora said...

I can't wait to try this paper out. My favorite pastel paper has always been Art Spectrum Colourfix Coated Pasel paper.

susan jensen said...

My husband got me some handmade paper from Korea when he went. it was pretty cool. I think there are a lot of more paper out there to be discovered.

Karen said...

Thanks Lora!

Karen said...

Susan I agree! How exciting to find new paper!

joee said...

Thanks for sharing your new find!! Your painting is so beautiful and I love how the painting has the deckled edges. I couldn't resist and ordered the paper in the 25 pack for myself. Can't wait till it comes and I can get at it with my pastels.

chris may said...

I got some of this paper after this post and I very much enjoyed it. I don't think it lends well to overly tight work, but nice, looser, sketchier type work did great. thanks for showing it to me!