What is the best paper to use with soft pastels?

What is the best paper to use with soft pastels featured

Understanding Soft Pastels

If you’re a fan of soft pastels, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is the type of paper you choose. Soft pastels are a versatile medium that can produce beautiful, vibrant, and richly textured artworks. However, the right paper can make a significant difference in the final result. Before discussing the best paper for soft pastels, let’s understand more about this unique art medium.

Factors to Consider

When selecting paper for soft pastels, there are a few key factors to consider. The first is the texture of the paper, which can range from smooth to rough. The texture affects the ability of the pastels to adhere to the paper, as well as the resulting texture in the artwork. The second factor is the thickness and weight of the paper, which affects its durability and ability to handle multiple layers of pastel. Finally, the color of the paper is also important, as it can influence the overall tone and mood of the artwork.

The Best Paper Options

Now that we understand the key factors to consider when choosing paper for soft pastels, let’s explore some of the best options available.

Pastel Paper

Pastel paper, also known as sanded paper, is specifically designed for soft pastels. It has a rough texture that allows pastels to adhere well, creating rich and vibrant colors. Pastel paper is available in a variety of shades, from light to dark, giving artists the flexibility to choose the perfect background for their artwork. Some popular brands of pastel paper include Schmincke, Sennelier, and UART.

Toned Paper

Toned paper is another popular choice for soft pastels. It has a light tint or color, which can add depth and visual interest to the artwork. Toned paper is available in various shades, such as beige, gray, or blue, allowing artists to experiment with different color palettes. Some well-known toned paper brands include Strathmore and Canson.

Watercolor Paper

Watercolor paper can also be a suitable option for soft pastels. It has a rough texture that provides enough tooth for the pastels to adhere to, while still allowing for blending and layering. Watercolor paper is available in different weights and finishes, such as hot-pressed (smooth) or cold-pressed (textured). It is a versatile option that can handle both wet and dry media. Some recommended brands of watercolor paper for soft pastels include Arches and Strathmore.

Mixed Media Paper

If you enjoy combining different artistic mediums and techniques, you may want to consider using mixed media paper for your soft pastels. Mixed media paper is designed to handle a variety of wet and dry media, including pastels. It has a sturdy construction and a medium texture that works well for creating layered and textured artworks. Some reputable brands of mixed media paper include Strathmore and Canson.

Experimentation and Personal Preference

Although the aforementioned paper options are highly recommended for soft pastels, it’s worth noting that the best paper ultimately depends on personal preference and artistic experimentation. Every artist has unique techniques, styles, and preferences. Therefore, it’s essential to try different paper types and see which one suits your needs and artistic vision best. Exploring new materials can lead to exciting discoveries and allow you to develop your own artistic signature.

Before you start working on your next soft pastel masterpiece, take the time to consider the texture, weight, and color of the paper. Investing in high-quality paper can enhance your artwork and ensure its longevity. Remember, the best paper for soft pastels is the one that allows you to express your creativity and achieve the desired results.

Jump to section