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Pastel Art of James Southworth


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Watercolor for kids
The Library
Tip 1


Pastel Workshop for Beginners!

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Credit: some notes on papers and books  from Dakota Pastel's Web Page

Pastel paper has either a sandpaper-like surface or a heavy texture to hold pastel on its working surface. We will be using both types today. The Canson pad costs about $11 or $1.5 a full sheet, and a full sheet of La Carte runs $8. In my finished works, I usually use La Carte Pastel Board since it holds more layers of pastel and feels wonderful. Up front is a sample of most major other brands.


Canson MiTientes can be used for pastel, graphite, colored pencil, gouache, watercolor, acrylic, offset printing, silk screening, laser printing... just about any time that you need to use paper! Canson Mi-Teintes has long been a standard colored paper surface for pastelists, and one of the few offered in rolls for large scale work. It is a 67% cotton and 33% cellulose fiber, acid free, machine-made 160 gm weight paper. The surface has a very fine tooth, one smooth side and one textured side. The rolls are 59" wide and 11 yards long.


This pastel board is made on a 200 lb. pH neutral stock. The surface is a finely ground pH neutral vegetable flake which is applied by hand. The surface is very uniform and slightly abrasive which promotes excellent pigment adhesion without requiring a lot of pastel for coverage. The binder used for the surface is water soluble, so care must be taken to keep it dry. La Carte has a soft 'touch' when compared to other sanded pastel papers. There is a nice subtle color range of 14 neutral colors. Six of the colors are available in an intermediate sheet size.

Colors available:

We are using Salmon and the Blue-gray color paper because they are both good medium values. The Salmon works well with both warm (reds, yellows) and the Gray with cool colors (green and blues).

Later on I list a few other papers. The paper is considered the "ground" and by having a toned paper the composition can have some unity right off the bat.


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