Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The papers I use for my soft pastel paintings


I have posted earlier about the PAPERS I USE FOR MY CHARCOAL SKETCHINGS.

Since I am a lot into soft pastel paintings too I decided to create a post about the papers
I frequently use for my soft pastel art.

Soft pastels were new to me and I initially had no idea how to use them. The first paper
I tried them on was Fabriano Elle Erre which was available at the Art store near my place
ie ART STATION. I was at that time also into a lot of still life paintings. Creating still life
works from live objects helped me a lot in creating my original art works and I learnt a lot
about colours, values, shadows and perspective. The images below are some of my initial
attempts on Fabriano Elle Erre paper. This paper is available many different shades.

soft pastel painting of garlic by Manju Panchal


soft pastel painting of bananas by Manju Panchal

Two still life works using soft pastels
On Fabriano Elle Erre paper

Fabriano Elle Erre paper is made in Italy. It is an acid free paper, has one smooth side and 
the other side has rough surface ie parallel lines running across. It is available in many 
different vibrant colours. 


Fabriano Elle Erre paper from Italy, for soft pastel art work.

Fabriano Elle Erre paper 200 gsm
Available in different shades
( Photo courtesy: Google.com )

I used this paper for some time and then I came across Canson Mi Teintes which was
available at Art Lounge, the stationery shop at Churchgate. After using the Canson paper, 
I realised that it has a very sandy textured surface which worked very well for my soft 
pastel art. Furthermore it has the advantage of having a different texture on either side : A honeycombed textured side and a fine grain smooth side.  


The rough honeycombed textured side
of Canson Mi Teintes paper


The fine grain smooth textured side
of Canson Mi Teintes paper.


The different colours of 
Canson Mi Teintes paper. ( Around 50 colours )

Canson paper is manufactured in France. It is acid free paper and highly receptive with great
tooth which has a good grip on the pastels. As a result the pastels stick on the surface instead of falling off like powder. I normally create two layers of the painting and try not to scrub the 
pastels too hard on the surface. Also I try working more on the fine grain textured side instead 
of using the honey combed textured surface. Given below are two of my initial works in soft 
pastel on Canson Mi Teintes paper.



Two still life works done using soft pastels
on fine grain smooth textured side of
Canson Mi Teintes paper.


A Pathway in Coorg ( SOLD )
A Landscape painting
using soft pastels on Canson Mi Teintes paper.

So far I have been buying my Canson papers from ART LOUNGE but of late I have realised 
that some online stores in India have started selling it too. So one can check it out on
Flipkart, Amazon or snapdeal. I would any day prefer to buy it online as it saves a lot of time
travelling.

Finally, the third paper that I came across for my soft pastel works was Fabriano Tiziano. 
One of my students introduced me to online art shopping and I had read about this paper while
doing my "Online study" about soft pastels. So I ordered my first pad of Fabriano sheets
( Black colour ) sized 12"X 16" through FLIPKART. 

I used this paper for a lot of my landscape works and fell in love with this paper too. Its very
much similar to Canson Mi Teintes and since my technique of working with pastels does not
require too much of layering, I enjoyed working on this paper. It has enough tooth on its
surface to fix the soft pastels applied in two to three layers.

Fabriano papers are manufactured in Italy. It is an acid free paper and is available in many 
different shades. However I have only used the black sheets so far. 

Soft pastel painting of a landscape from Coorg, Madikeri by Manju Panchal

A soft pastel painting from Coorg
created on Fabriano Tiziano paper.


The different colours as available in Fabriano Tiziano.

Fabriano Tiziano paper used for soft pastels, available in different colours

 Image courtesy : ARTEL

In conclusion, I am presently using both Canson Mi Teintes and Fabriano Tiziano paper for 
my soft pastel art. I use Fabriano Elle Erre for my thumbnail sketches or demo works
during Art Workshops as this paper in comparison to Canson cannot hold much of pastels
to its surface. The pastel dust keeps falling off the paper rather than getting fixed on it.

When I am not painting, I take out time to browse through the net to go through the soft
pastel art by artists around the world. Therefore I know that there are so many different
papers availabe like U Art, Wallis sanded paper, Ampersand etc. These papers are not
marketed in India so far but I would love to try them some day. But as of now I shall
continue using the papers as above to better my art and evolve my technique.

NOTE: I use papers and other stationery products that suit my kind of art work. So my
opinion and review is based on my technique. Every artist has her/his favorite brand
of products. As an artist it is important to experiment and explore. After some months or
years I may get into some new paper.

Therefore it may always happen that what works for me may not work for someone else.
What is more important to use the products that suits one's art.


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