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Monday, September 16, 2013

Pastel Paper Review: Pastelmat

'Room to Breathe'           10x10          pastel          ©Karen Margulis
click here to purchase $145
 I don't use this paper very often. I'm not sure why because I really enjoy it.  I am talking about Pastelmat. Here is some information about the paper from their website and I'll share my thoughts on the paper below:

PASTELMAT® is a premium card surface (360gsm / 170lb) specially developed for pastelists. Its unique velvety surface, made from a fine coating of cellulose fibers, has the ability to grab and hold multiple layers of even the softest pastels.
PASTELMAT® significantly reduces the need for fixative, which means that colors remain vibrant and fresh once applied. It has the added bonus of being gentle on both fingers and blending tools. It is acid free and lightfast.
PASTELMAT® is ideal for use with all dry media - pastel sticks, PanPastel, pencils and charcoal. It is also water resistant which means that it can be used with wet media – such as acrylics and watercolor for washes and mixed media techniques.

my drawing on a piece of black Pastelmat
I had a scrap piece of black pastelmat already attached to a board so I decided to use it for todays painting. It is fun to paint on black anyway. It seem to make colors so vibrant.  As soon as I touched pastel to paper I remembered just how unique this surface is. It is soft and velvety  and the pastels go on oh so smooth. I just feels nice. It is a pleasure to work on. I don't use Pan Pastels but I understand it is a perfect match for the pans. Here are some things I noticed:

  • The paper accepted both hard and soft pastel equally well. And as I said before, it feels good....the pastels just glide on.
  • I found I had more success when I made bold and direct strokes. The paper does take several layers but I found that the marks want to stay in place rather than be blended. (this is a good thing if you tend to over blend)
  • I was able to use fixative with success. I decided midway through the painting to change color scheme so after a little fixative I could add more pastel. However some spots got too slick from fixative and I could get pastel on top.
  • I didn't use a wet underpainting today but I do remember that while the paper takes a wet underpainting, the cellulose fibers seem to suck in the wet. You tend not to get the drips and blooms like you get with other papers.
Overall I do like Pastelmat. I would like to get some more to see what else I can discover. Do you use Pastelmat? I welcome your thoughts!

Visit Pastelmat's website for more information and for a review by Richard McKinley.


ria said...

Hi Karen,
Beautiful painting. I discovered pastelmat last year and I was surprised how easy it was to blend as long as I applied a generous layer of pastel. I can also use pencils and nupastel to define my shapes. I use it about half the time.

Karen said...

Thanks Ria! I will have to try having more pastel down. I am so used to keeping it light! Thanks for commenting!