All About - Judith MacKay

Animal Artist

Pastel Paper

On my journey with pastels I have tried various supports to paint on including velour and although this does give a wonderful fur effect I much prefer using Clairefontaine’s Pastelmat card and board.

It’s a new concept as the pastel adheres so well to this new paper that you don’t need to use a fixative between each layer. Pastelmat has a coarser surface than velour but a softer surface than sandpaper. Pastelmat’s 360lb card is made from a fine coating of cellulose fibres that has the ability to grab and hold really soft pastels such as Unison.

It comes in 8 colours: warm, cool or achromatic suitable for every kind of subject with dry pastels. I tend to use their light grey, sand and occasionally white. Each sheet in the pads  is protected by a crystal paper divider. I have used the pads but prefer to buy 50x70cm sheets that I can cut to size. It also comes as a board which should then make framing easier. Below are two of the different pads that are available.

I find that because you can rub the pastel into the surface you are able to multiply the layers without a saturation effect. I blow off any excess as I go so it doesn’t require fixing, which is a real bonus as the fixing spray can and does darken the colours.  One of my paintings went to America for an Exhibition and when ti came back there was no sign of pastel dust on the glass at all.   You can rub out on Pastelmat or use either Watercolour or Acrylic paints for washes and the paper and it keeps its original properties. Ideal for mixed media techniques

All in all a fabulous and versatile surface to paint on. As you can tell I love it.