Of all the drawing papers on the market today, some you have to be wondering why I like Pastelmat so much. What made me switch from Stonehenge to Pastelmat as my favorite paper?
Let’s talk about that.
Why I Like Pastelmat
There are all the usual things you hear when artists talk about this paper and other textured art papers.
- Textured papers take an almost endless number of layers.
- You can effectively layer light colors over dark colors.
- Blending is very easy and requires no special tools.
- It stands up well under solvent and wet media.
- Building color is easier and faster than with traditional papers because the gritty surface “grabs” color so well.
- Textured papers are ideal for a more painterly approach or for intricate detail.
Those are all valid reasons for using Pastelmat or any other textured paper.
But they aren’t the main reasons Pastelmat is now my go-to paper for most artwork.
The Real Reasons I Like Pastelmat
I was an oil painter for over 40 years. I haven’t painted seriously since 2016. There are some things I don’t miss about it, but there are also some things I do miss.
One thing I miss about oil painting is the ease of making corrections. It was so easy to wipe off the paint while it was wet or paint over it after it dried.
Making corrections on Pastelmat is almost as easy. I can remove color almost down to the paper with mounting putty. If I’m patient enough and if I haven’t burnished color, I can often get down to the paper color.
Another thing I miss about oil painting is the simple and easy blending. Pull one color into another and smooth the edges.
I can do that with Pastelmat and I don’t need special tools. A paper stump is one of the easiest ways to blend colored pencil on Pastelmat. It’s also one of the most inexpensive and one of the most natural. Use the paper stump just like using a pencil. I can use the same strokes, I can adjust pressure, and I can blend, then layer over the top without waiting for anything to dry.
The Bottom Line
I have found Pastelmat to be everything that other artists have said it was.
But the real appeal to me is that it lets me get the same kind of results with colored pencils that I could get with oil paint. It’s almost like having the advantages of oil painting without all the disadvantages.
Yes, there are differences.
And yes, I do still sometimes use other papers like Canson Mi-Teintes. But Pastelmat is now my first choice most of the time.
I don’t see that changing any time soon.
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