9x12" on Canson M-T
When in Telluride this past Friday, pastelist Bruce Gomez working on his easel right on the sidewalk in front of the gallery his work is sold in. Of course, I couldn't help but stop and watch for a bit, as his work was stunning! I asked him what surface he was painting on, as it had a sueded look, highlighting the luminescence of pastel. He said: "Watercolor paper sanded with #80-grit sandpaper". No underpainting or anything. He was using a 2" paintbrush from the hardware store to both blend the pastels and dust them off. Have a look at his website to see his beautiful pastels.
Anyway, that was inspirational, and I decided to try sanding some Canson paper to see if that helped. The above painting is the result, and I have to say that it did definitely improve the surface and ability to apply more layers. Earlier today, I went and purchased two sheets of 22x30" cold-press Arches watercolor paper to try as a surface; I'm always up for trying something new, and this is a fast (and cheaper) way to try a larger piece.