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Monday, December 07, 2020

My Favorite Pastel Paper for Winter Birds

             'Winter Peace'                      6x8                  pastel                  ©Karen Margulis       $135

I love to paint birds. Every once in awhile I like to take a break from landscapes and paint some birds. When I want to paint birdsI turn to my favorite surface for animals...Sennelier La Carte Pastel Card. It has just the right feel and tooth that allows me to get a soft painterly look in my animals. I can get fine detail if I want or soft dreamy edges. La Carte paper does have pros and cons but it is definitely worth trying.

La Carte is a sanded surface made by hand application of vegetable flake and cork to a 200lb card stock. It comes in 14 colors. The surface is very uniform and is able to accept many layers of pastel. I got 50 layers on my test. I would never even come close to applying that many layers.

The paper does have some drawbacks but for me the benefits outweigh these issues. It is important to know that the binder will dissolve in water so this paper cannot get wet. That means no wet underpaintings and you even need to be careful not to blow or even sneeze on the paper. Make sure your hands are dry! The vegetable sanded surface can be rubbed off if you brush it or rub too hard so I prefer not to hand blend and let my pastels do the blending. It can also be easily dented so if you press too hard with your drawing tool then you may have indented lines. I use a Nupastel for my drawing and I use a light touch. I find that I prefer to use my softest pastels for this paper and I never do an underpainting.

I don't want to scare anyone away from this paper because I actually really love it. Give it a try and see what you think! 

Information about Sennelier LaCarte Pastel Card from the Blick website:

Sennelier applies finely ground, pH neutral vegetable flakes by hand to a 200 lb, pH neutral board stock, creating a paper that is slightly abrasive, yet has a perfectly smooth and uniform tooth. This greatly enhances pigment adhesion, so that less fixative is required. It offers an excellent surface for any dry media.
Individual sheets measure 19" × 25" (48 cm × 63 cm). Use of wet media not recommended.

       'Winter Peace II'                       6x8               pastel                ©Karen Margulis          $135

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1 comment:

Floranet said...

Continue your great work!! You are an inspiration