Over the last few months we have received many emails and feedback comments regarding ‘Pastelmat’ pastel paper, some for and some against it’s use with our pastel pencil medium. So I thought that you would be interested to hear how I view the use of this product and it’s comparison to the Ingres paper which I love to use for my paintings.
First of all let me make it clear that although I do promote the Ingres pastel paper I have absolutely no problem with our pastel pencil artists using any other papers of their choice for their work. Everyone should follow their own path and although I do recommend the Ingres it is only down to the fact that I have used this same Ingres pastel paper for over 30 years and have never had a problem with it. Some people have even suggested that my work would look better if I was to use the Pastelmat paper, although I have my doubts about this as I have not tried it I cannot say for sure that this would be the case.
When I first used the pastel pencils on the Ingres pastel paper some 32 odd years ago I had no guidelines to follow as there was no one around at that time who was using them as a medium in its own right. I had been working in watercolour for a few years and was successful in selling my work, therefore when I came across the pastel pencil I approached this new medium working on watercolour techniques. This seemed to work quite well and, for the next few years, I refined the techniques somewhat but still worked principally from the light to dark rule of watercolour; this remains the same today.
Those of you that follow my work know that I do not like too many layers and minimise these as much as I can. The idea behind this is to keep the work as fresh as possible. The Ingres pastel paper suits this application perfectly as it will only allow so many applications to be applied therefore making the artist mindful that they have to work harder to create the desired effect. The results of this restriction results in the painting retaining the fresh look and not dragged down by layers of colours pancaked on to achieve the same effect.
I hope that this has helped you see my point of view regarding my love of the Ingres pastel paper, but I say again everyone should be allowed to experiment with pastel papers until they find one that suits their style of painting.