2018 Workshop Schedule. New workshops added! click here for details.
Visit my Patreon Page for more painting instruction

Monday, February 20, 2017

Does Pastel Paper Matter?

'Late Afternoon Impression'        8x6      pastel      ©Karen Margulis
available $95
 Of course it matters. Even when we are just practicing or doing studies. Paper choice makes a difference in the outcome of the painting. And I am not only referring to the idea that you get what you pay for and professional, more expensive papers lead to better results. That idea has some truth although all paper can be used to create wonderful paintings....it depends on both the artist, the pastels and the technique.  I believe that paper choice matters for a different reason.

The paper type can influence the way we paint and the kind of marks we make.

I have noticed this before but never really gave it too much thought. Mostly because the difference in paper and mark making is pretty subtle. But today it was clear to me that the type of paper I was using was having a strong influence on the way I was painting.

The block-in on Pastelmat....I kind of like it the way it is
I was doing a few smaller studies for potential larger works and without thinking I had selected three different types of paper....they were at the top of the pile. I spent the morning on those three studies and while I was painting I realized that each type of paper had a subtle effect on how I painted. When I got to the last piece of paper (pastelmat) it really was obvious.

The Pastelmat paper with its smooth velvety feel allowed me to lay the pastel on like I was frosting a cake. It felt natural to block in big chunky areas of pastel. It felt great! I didn't feel the need to get too fussy with the first layer since the coverage was so smooth and even. After the block in I decided that I kind of liked how it looked. Almost an abstracted landscape. I knew it needed more but I was compelled to keep it very simple. I continued with the chunky strokes until I made myself stop.

The paper had influenced the way I felt about the painting and changed it's direction.  (I've noticed this before about Pastelmat ) Paper choice does matter!

TRY THIS: Try a simple painting on a few different types of paper. Pay attention to how it feels and how it influences the way you apply the pastel. What do you like best?


C Forester said...

Karen, I love the contemporary abstract feel to this. What color of Pastelmat did you use? Also, did you do an underpainting?
C Forester

Karen said...

Thank you! It was a peach color and I didn't do an underpainting. Just the block in as shown in the post!

Liz waisner said...

What other types of paper did you try with this study?

Karen said...

I used some Canson Mi-Teintes and an old piece of wallis Belgian Mist