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Pastel Art of James Southworth



Art Spectrum Colourfix papers are produced on acid-free 300gm watercolor paper. Art Spectrum Pastel Primer is screen printed on the paper surface, leaving a border of approximately .5" on all sides. The acrylic based primer has a deep tooth and can handle many different mediums, extensive reworking and over painting. The papers are listed in order from light to dark. Colourfix paper is produced in six colors in a large size of 27.5" x 39".


Dakota has these boards made for us by Art Spectrum. The boards are produced by laminating two 600 gm, smooth, acid-free watercolor sheets together. With the surface applied, the boards are about 1240 gm, or roughly the same thickness as a 4 ply board. The 27.5" x 39" Dakota Pastel Boards are sold in packages of five per color and can be shipped via UPS. The small boards are available in single sheets.



Ersta paper is no longer being produced by the German manufacturer. We have substantial stock remaining of the P500 (extra fine) only. Ersta has a uniform machined surface with a velvety grip that produces a tight edge and holds layers of pastel without clogging. This commercial product is not pH neutral.


Pastelbord is produced on an 1/8" tempered hardboard. The coating is marble dust in an acrylic polymer emulsion that is hand sprayed on a tinted clay surface. This produces a rigid panel that allows extensive working and layering of pastels and is especially good for wet techniques. The tooth is fine grained, but somewhat coarser than the sanded pastel papers we offer. Pastelbords are very durable and can withstand aggressive treatment. The portability of Pastelbord makes it great for working on location or when traveling.


Schmincke has a new formulation for their Sansfix pastel paper. The surface is now water-resistant which allows underpainting with acrylics and other waterbased paints. The unique surface has excellent pigment holding capabilities and the colors are highly light fast. Solvents used in oil painting, varnishes and fixatives do not effect the surface coating. Concentrated alcohol (i.e. alcohol washes) will cause the surface to become soft and sticky and are not recommended. There are six colors available in a 19.5" x 27.5" sheet.


Velour paper is made in Germany by Hähnemuhle. This premium surface is produced using inert synthetic fibers on an acid free backing sheet. There are 11 colors in a sheet size of 19" x 27". Velour holds pastel well and is very appropriate for soft edge work due to the nature of the longer fibers. Velour Boards are made by laminating the velour papers to acid free, 4 ply conservation board. The Hähnemuhle velour pad is 9" x 13" and has one sheet of all colors except red, for a total of 10 sheets.


There are two grades of this excellent archival pastel paper. The Museum grade is produced on 100% cotton rag paper and the Professional grade is made on a neutral pH cardstock. The surface treatment for both papers is a neutral pH, pigmented coating with an inert white aluminum oxide abrasive for texture. The Museum grade is given an extra coat of primer (without abrasive) on the front and one on the back to help prevent curl due to humidity changes. The durable coating can be under painted in water, alcohol or solvent based media and will withstand extensive scrubbing and reworking. Due to its rag content and extra primer coatings, the Museum paper is recommended for any techniques involving extensive use of water based media. The rolls are 46" wide by ten yards long. NEW Paper : Wallis now has the Professional Grade paper in a Belgian Grey which is now available in both sheet sizes and pads. The grey is produced with the same size grit used on their white paper, but in a different grade which gives the paper its mid-tone


Canson MiTientes can be used for pastel, graphite, colored pencil, gouache, watercolor, acrylic, offset printing, silk screening, laser printing... just about anytime 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.


Somerset Velvet is made by St. Cuthberts Mill-Inveresk in England. This mould made paper has a softly textured finish, is 100% cotton and neutral pH. The soft surface is very receptive to pastel and conducive to blending. Somerset Velvet is 22" x 30" and available in four colors. We sell this paper in packs of 10 sheets. The very rich, deep black sheet is slightly more expensive than the other sheets.

Credit: some notes on papers and books  from Dakota Paste'sl Web Page