Monday, September 17, 2012

Pastels on Handmade Paper

Recently, I read Karen Margulis' blog and she had tried out a new pastel paper (Shizen) which is handmade in India using recycled cotton. I loved the look so searched the web to find out more about it. It is available at several of the online art supply stores in several color combinations. I was intrigued with the 'natural' color pack which I found at Cheap Joe's. It arrived today and I tore one of the medium grey pieces in half to give it a try.

These will certainly take some getting used will not take many layers. I found some differences in how brands of pastels went down on the surface. If I used really buttery soft pastels too soon, it made it difficult to add anything on top. The brands that worked the best had a bit of pumice in the stick  - such as Townsend Terrages, Unison and Blicks. Some of the Terry Ludwigs worked on top layers but most were too soft. Very hard pastels would not even make a mark.

Below, is my first try on this paper. It holds promise, but will take trial and error to get a good painting.
Karen said she was going to try a coating of clear gesso, so I followed her lead and coated the rest of the half page and will try that another day.

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