Forgive me for the missing blog last week… I was busy bringing my daughter home from college!

Pastelmat is a relatively new surface and I have not used it very much, but when I have it feels almost creamy. The layers take pretty well, but at some point the surface starts to get slick for me.  It feels like a very, very fine sandpaper.  If you are a direct painter you may love it.  If you layer a lot like me, then you may want to stick to a rougher surface. These surfaces start to become really about personal taste. 

The Richeson boards I have used and they are the exact opposite.  The texture is much rougher and it feels like painting on a concrete block when you first start. It reminds me of being a little kid and drawing with chalk on a sidewalk. Once you get a bunch of layers down, however, the upper layers have a soft finish and you can adjust things endlessly.  Here is the beginning of a study I was doing in my model drawing class last week. My yellow stage is very broken on this surface. 

There is a distinct “drag” to the surface  no matter what sticks or strengths you are using. I have seen many masterful paintings putting this texture to good use though. Flowers especially. If a softer finish is needed, know that it will take a while to layer it up or just use something else. 

So if you have not tried something as rough as the Richeson before, I suggest you give it a try. It can really take away your sense of control and so it may shake up your painting in a good way. 

On a personal note, I am enjoying all 3 of my cygnets home with me this month. An Antiguan wedding is in the works in October for my oldest daughter, my youngest daughter is now officially a professional writer who just signed with a major book agent and will be on bookshelves soon and then my son, who will be a junior in high school, is now planning on competing in Nationals for rock climbing. 

My life is full and abundant. Many lemons.

Next week-  some homemade surface recipes. 

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