Saturday, 23 May 2009

Product Review : Clairefontaine Pastelmat

Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint) has done a very nice post about a Comparison of Pastelmat, Pastelbord and Fisher 400 paper which summarises the relative merits of different supports for coloured pencil work.

I'm going to highlight each product in turn and reference the relevant websites, others who have produced reviews and produce a summary for each type of support.

Today is the turn of the Pastelmat by Clairefontaine

Blogs which comment on pastelmat for coloured pencils
Blogs which comment on pastelmat for pastels
Product: Pastelmat
Manufacturer / Distributor: Clairefontaine
Technical Details: A smooth cork grained surface available in different colours.
Two sizes of acid free 360g/m2 (170lb) sheet available: 50 x 70cms (19.75" x 27.5") or 70 x 100cm's.
Also available in smaller sizes as pastelmat pads. Version 2 of the Pastelmat pad: colours are Brown, Sienna, Anthracite and White. Pads are available in 3 different formats. Each pad contains 4 shades x 3 sheets. Each sheet is protected by a crystal insert.
Summary: Suitable for soft or hard pastels, pastel pencils and coloured pencils.
Suitable for: Realistic art using coloured pencils or pastel pencils. Enables both fine lines and smudged/softness.
  • possible to get a really white 'white' on the black pastelmat
  • possible to get a very sharp line / suits those drawing hair or fur
  • manufacturer claims that there is no need to use fixative for soft pastels between layers
  • work on sheets in pads protected by crystal inserts
  • good quality saturation means less layers required
  • possible to blend and smudge (unlike with velour)
  • not abrasive (unlike Colourfix and Fisher 400)
  • Creative Art Company states that it has a tough waterproof surface
Think Again?
  • this support won't take as many layers as some supports
  • expensive for those living in the USA given the need to import from Europe
Suppliers: Available in the UK from


Fearless said...

Brown ClaireFontaine PastelMat: Anyone know how to permanently erase from this paper? I've tried kneaded putty erasers and everything else under the sun, but to no avail. I'm using Terry Ludwig pastels. My other option would be to match the brown color and cover unwanted marks that way but I can't find a precise match to the brown paper in any make of pastel. Any ideas?

Fearless said...

Brown ClaireFontaine PastelMat - I haven't been able to erase convincingly from this paper, using Terry Ludwig pastels. I've tried kneaded putty erasers and many other types - all to no avail. My other option would be to match the brown paper color and hide unwanted marks with a brand of brown pastel that matches precisely, but haven't found one of those yet either... Can anyone help/advise? Apologies if this question appears twice but the system seems to be ignoring postings without any acknowledgement... last attempt.

Making A Mark said...

I've been able to knock back using a Tuff eraser but never to get it completely clean again. Are you wanting to leave some of the support clean of pastel?

Fearless said...

I want to leave my background clean of early/erroneous marks and image shifts. Usually I cover the marks at the end but can't find a close enough matching color.

Making A Mark said...

I think you missed the preamble to the comments box which indicates all comments re moderated hence they do not appear straight away

I think it's very unlikely that you can get back to a clean surface.

I've never come across a practice which covers some but not all the background which has not been covered in pastel. Either it's a drawing - and people generally leave all the early reference marks (mistakes and all) - or it's a painting and the whole surface is covered.

Why not just cover the entire surface that's not the subject with another colour if you don't want the errors to show?

Also if this is your practice I think you probably need to check that you've got a pastel which matches the colour of the support BEFORE you start.

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