Don't skimp on materials

Over the 40 years or so that I have been painting with pastels I have used various different brands of pastels and papers, but it is only over the last couple of years that I have started using the more expensive premier brand names like Unison, Schminke, Sennelier, Blue Earth and Terry Ludwig which have helped improve my work dramatically.

There is an old saying that "Your work is only as good as your tools" which I would agree with and it is worth spending a bit extra on quality materials that not only improve your work, but also stand the test of time because of the purer pigments that are used.

I can't belittle the pastels I have used in the past as they helped me tremendously to develop my skill as a painter and some of them still have a place in my toolbox, especially for preliminary sketching of composition and colour scheme ideas for a more considered final piece.

Pastel papers have also made a huge contribution to the development of my work and whereas in the past, I favoured traditional papers like Canson and Ingres which have a quite definite texture, I have moved to sanded papers like Clairefontaine Pastelmat and more recently, Sennelier La Carte and UArt as they allow more layers to be applied and work well even with some of the harder pastels like Rembrandt which I use a lot for underpainting lightly.

Papers are really a matter of preference and largely dependent on the way you paint.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Cookies are required for the functionality of the shop. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.