So, what other types are there? We can now look at the papers that hold much more pastel, are more forgiving and give more life and texture to our work. Again, because there are so many to choose from, I will break things down into two groups.
First, the suede/velvet type pastel papers
Examples of these are Hahnemuhle Velour and the velvet/suede papers. These feel very much like material. They are excellent for depicting the softness of animal fur and I use them all the time for my animal portrait work. However, it is very difficult to blend on them. Erasing is also difficult. They take a lot of getting used to and really don’t work well with pastel pencils. Therefore for animal or portrait work with pastel sticks they are superb but I would not recommend them for pastel pencils.
The sanded/textured variety.
Some examples of these are Canson Mi-Teintes ‘Touch’ (different to the basic Canson Mi-Teintes), Fisher 400, Uart, Senillier Card, Clairefontaine Pastelmat and many others. They can only be used on one side but they are a thicker and more robust paper. They all hold multiple layers of pastel but vary in their degree of texture from quite smooth to very rough. Obviously, the rougher papers will eat up your pencils more quickly but you can get wonderful textural effects. The paper from this group with the smoothest feel is Clairefontaine Pastelmat. This paper not only allows fine detail but can give surprisingly good textural effects. Pastelmat leaves less residual dust on the surface than other textured papers. Again, a good choice for people with respiratory problems. Of the rougher sanded papers, Canson Mi-Teintes ‘Touch’ is my preferred one for larger more expressive paintings.