The beauty of pastel is best exploited by using a paper with some degree of texture. Not only because then the pastel has a surface to adhere to, but because the visual effects are more varied than when using smooth sheets. For this reason, pastel papers or board with a textured surface are the most common surfaces for pastels. But paper can also be prepared for pastel work using a primer, which adheres to the surface creating a “tooth” similar to that of pastel board.
Rough and not (cold pressed) watercolour papers make excellent textured surfaces for pastel. For example, 300lb sheets are popular if an artist is spending a long time on a picture and perhaps carrying it around with them, as the sturdiness of the paper helps prevent damage.
Cartridge or drawing paper
Medium surface cartridge (drawing) paper also offers a good quality surface for pastels at an economical price. The heavier the weight of paper, the more robust the work: 220g is an ideal weight. This paper is useful when using a lot of paper in classes or making preparatory studies.