Pastel paper differs from regular drawing paper in that it has a tooth, or textured surface, for the pastels to hold on to. The more tooth the surface has, the more layers of pastels it can hold. These papers are available in a wide range of colors, from white to soft blues and yellows to dark brown and black. As with all types of art media, the support, or drawing surface, that you choose will affect the final look of your work, so experiment with different papers to find the one you like the best. Here are some to try:
Traditional Papers: Many companies make papers specifically for pastels. You can purchase them in spiral pads, tape-bound pads, blocks, or single sheets. Charcoal and watercolor papers can also be used.
Velour Paper: This paper has a soft velvet-like surface that pastels adhere well to. This can also be purchased in a pad or as single sheets. (Single sheets pictured here.)
Pastel panels or pastel boards: These are papers mounted to rigid boards about 1/8" thick.
Sandpaper - An unusual choice you may not have thought of, but the tooth sandpaper has makes it a perfect support for this medium.
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