Pastel Surface and Subject Matter

The very first colour medium that my great grandma taught me was chalk pastel. As I started using this medium more and more, I discovered different effects from using various surfaces and subject matter. It was a great medium for learning how to render soft fur and skin in portraits of people and pets. Using a surface such as Canson paper with a bit of tooth and grit allowed for more textured effects on subject matter such as landscapes but also required more spray fixative for hold and was especially fragile under glass framing. I discovered my favourite pastel surface in my 20’s that had the sturdiness of a board, good hold, smooth texture and full acid free archival properties. It was a framing product called suede matboard that came in a multitude of colours in large 30″ x 40″ boards. Below are 3 pastel samples as they evolved throughout the years using velour paper, canson paper and suede matboard. The first one was done over 20 years ago on dark brown velour paper.

wise woman pastel 1993

Pastel on dark brown velour paper

Beacon Hill Park Lookout

Pastel on grey Canson paper

West Coast Landscape

Pastel on grey Suede Matboard