Products for pastel artists

Pastels are a dry drawing medium in the form of sticks made of powdered pigments combined with a nongreasy binder.

To get the best result for pastel artworks, special pastel paper is usually used, such as pastel mount board, and pads and paper in the Pastelmat range.

Figure 1: Pastelmat Pad No. 5 has 4 shades of green, blue and white 14 x 30 cm paper for pastel art.

Pastelmat is, according to the official Pastelmat site, manufactured by Clairefontaine in France, with a “legendary reputation among the world’s foremost pastelists” due to providing exceptional control over the medium.

In the manufacturer’s own words:

“Pastelmat is a truly unique product with a strong, velvety surface that has more tooth than traditional Ingres papers but without the abrasive qualities of sanded papers. Pastelmat’s organic surface and powerful texture are derived from cellulose plant fibers. In comparison, sanded pastel papers, like all industrial sandpapers, are made with aluminium oxide and other chemicals to create their gritty surface.”

Apparently, Pastelmat will work with most dry and wet media, such as oil pastels, charcoal, colored pencils, acrylics, watercolors and gouache. It also supports the application of soft, medium and hard pastels, Cray-Pas and other oil pastels, PanPastel colors as well as pastel pencils.

So, quite versatile!

The Clairefontaine PaintOn range is also suitable for pastels, as well as acrylic paints and dry techniques – great if you’re after affordable multi-purpose paper and pads.

Anna Moore has written 32 articles

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