Pastelmat paper

I ran out of pastel paper a while ago and was unsure what brand to get next. I didn’t want highly textured paper but it obviously has to have some ‘grip’. I have seen a lot of information about Pastelmat and decided to get a pad, I chose the 12 sheet pad that comes in a few pages each of white, sienna, brown and anthracite. I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than it is supposed to be high quality and isn’t cheap. It arrived today, as well as a budget range of Art Discount soft pastels i bought to add to my collection.

It’s beautiful paper! Glassine is sandwiched between each sheet, which is something a lot of other pastel paper pads don’t include. The paper surface is like velvet, smooth to the touch but with a slight bit of drag, it’s really nice to touch.

I found the pastels (Art Discount brand) didn’t blend on the paper as easily as I find with other papers but the difference is you can add layers and layers of pastel to the work and it doesn’t affect the layer beneath! This makes for really interesting challenges when starting off, as I found doing this basic sunset seascape test piece.

sunset seascape – soft pastels on pastelmat paper A4

I have started adding some of my own pastels to this little painting to see how other brands blend up. So far it’s working really well and I can see that I will use this paper a lot. I will probably use it for the outdoor work, as I’ve already had one go (more on that in dedicated post).

Pastelmat paper  Pros:

  • Beautiful surface – velvet to the touch
  • Layers can be built up without disturbing work underneath.
  • Pastelmat makers reckon you don’t have to use pastelfixative either between layers (as I’ve discovered that’s correct) or on thefinal piece – I’ve yet to test that out. I would definitely still fix anypastel work, no matter what the manufacturers say (just out of habit)
  • Hardly any dusting happens, the surface seems to hold onto all the pastel dust, which is really great as I normally end up covered in dust.
  • Each sheet of the Pastelmat paper is backed by a gloss stiff paper, it is almost like working on card.


  • Not cheap but then you get what you pay for.
  • I understand it doesn’t like water – so will do a test on that later to see if that’s true.  I don’t usually use water in pastel paintings but sometimes it’s useful when trying to block in a large area.

2 thoughts on “Pastelmat paper

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