Thursday, December 06, 2012

Comparing Wallis Pastel Paper to LaCarte

'Winter Jewel'         5x7       pastel  on LaCarte    ©Karen Margulis 
I have a stash of precut pastel paper so I am ready to paint when the mood  strikes.  There is nothing worse than spoiling a moment of inspiration than having to find and cut some paper.  In my stash I have scraps from several different pastel papers. They are usually 5x7 scraps from larger pieces.  I like to have the variety and choose my paper depending on the kind of painting I want to do.  Today I decided to paint two similar paintings on different papers just to compare and contrast.  I chose a piece of Wallis Belgian Mist and a pice of brown Sennelier LaCarte paper.

'Winter Red'       5x7     pastel   on Wallis paper    $45 Etsy
I have often said that my favorite paper for animals is LaCarte and after today's exercise I would have to agree.  LaCarte is a sanded surface made from a vegetable fiber. It feels very soft yet it can hold many layers. It is this soft feel that I think translates well to animal fur and feathers.  Pastels, especially the softest ones just glide onto the paper like butter. Here are a few observations from my painting session today:

  • I enjoyed working on the warm middle toned surface of both the Wallis and LaCarte. I don't usually do an underpainting for animals so the paper color works well when it peeks through in spots. 
  • I found that the LaCarte grabbed the pastel and seemed to hold it in place while the Wallis was a bit more 'slippery' This translated to a feeling of more control on the LaCarte.  This control is helpful when you want to get tighter details like feathers and fur. 
  • Both of these papers will hold many layers of pastel and while I didn't do a test I would give the edge to Wallis.  However for my paintings today I was most interested in getting a quick impression of the Cardinal in the snow so I wasn't interested in building up a lot of layers.  Both papers allowed me to achieve this goal.
In conclusion, I enjoy Wallis Belgian Mist for landscape studies. I like to use it when I don't want to do an underpainting. It is perfect for plein air field studies.  I have been out of this paper for awhile and just got my order so I will look forward to using it.  This exercise reminded me how much I enjoy LaCarte and that I need to order more soon!

If you would like to read a detailed review of LaCarte see my post here:

1 comment:

Mariela said...

iThese paintings are really "jewelles"... I love them both!!!!