Sunday, April 17, 2016

Paper Review: Shizen Design Pastel Paper

Pkg of 25

Typically when I buy paper, I use it for multiple purposes. Here's the results of my attempts to use this Shizen pastel paper:

First, for pastels, this paper does not work for hard or semi-hard pastels at all! They scrap off the top surface of the paper. Furthermore, if you try to blend harder pastels, it also tears up the paper. I then used some buttery soft pastels and that was okay, but again, I couldn't blend the way I like to, which is with my finger. In addition, the paper does not hold very many layers of pastels at all and you cannot spread the pastel around the paper at all.

Secondly, I love to use pastel paper with my soft, buttery colored pencils. This paper does not handle pencils at all. You cannot blend on the paper well, it tears it up. The pencils, yes, even the soft, buttery ones, literally scrap off the top coat of paper.

Then I went onto Inktense and Neocolor II just to see what would happen. This paper did not handle water well at all!! After getting the colors wet, the colors would not spread and blend like on every other kind of paper I've ever used them on and the paper literally buckled. So, nothing with water should be used on this paper.

Finally, I got out my pastel powders, the equivalent to pan pastels. They worked nicely enough, but again, using anything else on the paper, like your finger or a blender, messes up the paper, and it does not take but a couple of layers of pastel before the tooth of the paper is all filled up.

In my opinion, this paper is not worth the money. I like my paper to be multi-purpose, and I've always used colored pencils on pastel paper because I love the texture. The only thing I'd remotely think of using on this paper is maybe super soft pastels and pan pastels, but even those have limited use on this paper. Blending and multiple layers of pastels are nearly impossible. For paper that is so thick, it sure is very fragile and not very useful.

I am sad because I was looking forward to playing with yet another brand of paper. I heard that this company also makes watercolor paper. MAYBE I'll try that, but not sure I want to throw away any more money on this company. I have heard that they make professional watercolor paper. Still not sure I want to put out the money and try it after this mess. Sorry, but I did try. The only recourse I have left to try to make this paper useful is to try acrylics on it. Haven't gotten there yet, but I will soon enough.

Note: Sorry for not having any photo examples of my experiments on this paper. My camera was still  missing at the time and I had not yet gotten my new camera.  I will take photos when I try acrylics on it.