Most of the years I have spent experimenting with pastels since 1990, I have done so on Pastelcard (also called La Carte pastel), it has a rough, fragile texture that feels like sand paper with a fine grain.
Over the years I have tried many approaches. Applying pastels to the point of saturation and blending with my fingers was my first experiment. Until I decided I would use as little pastel as I could, so as to better control each stroke. After some time I wanted a different result, I applied looser strokes, and never blending. Then I wanted my pastels to look best under low light, so I started all my drawings in creamy white, adding colour on top... Of course, during those years, I also experimented on other kinds of papers, but it never lasted long. After years working on pastelcard, I could work almost to the point of saturation with soft pastels before blending with harder pastels, and I could still add final strokes to obtain the result I wanted.
In the end, it seems It was I who had saturated, I could do what I wanted, but I no longer wanted to.
This happened last year. For several months I turned to painting in oil. Then, something great happened. I was given several sheets of Pastelmat as a gift, a new (new to me) kind of paper, basically of the same type as pastelcard, but with a completely different feel. It is very soft to the touch, and is not fragile. It saturates faster, and has other shortcomings, but it was a welcome challenge. All of a sudden I put my oils aside, and started experimenting on the new paper with enthusiasm.
This pastel portrait on a yellow background was the first of a long series, and I am happy to say that after more than a year I still don't know the full potential of the new paper. My time with oils has also given me new insight, and I am happy to pick up a sheet of the good old Pastelcard once in a while with renewed interest.
The original is sold, it is hanging in a local "Crêperie", but it is possible to order a print at Imagekind