I frame the European way: I place the painting directly behind the anti-reflection, UV protection museum quality glass. I secure the painting and the glass together using acid-free artist’s tape. In the case of using velour or suede, it is pre-mounted on 100% rag-board, archival quality matte-board. For extra stability and to prevent touching the back of the painting, I apply a sheet of acid-free foam-core to the back of the painting. I then hand push the brads to hold everything into place. I do not recommend using power tools, such as points gun or drill. Using these items can, and probably will, cause pastel to shake loose from the painting and stick to the glass. Then comes the dust cover, D-rings and wire. whew! And hopefully when I turn it over no pastel dust shook loose!


For all of my animal art, I use pre-mounted velour paper by Hahnemühle, mounted on acid-free, archival quality rag board. When framing the piece, I put a thick piece of foam core behind it so that nothing touches the back of the painting, thus shaking the pastel loose. I use Kitty Wallis sanded paper for portraits and still life. It’s the best sanded paper out there, I’ve found. It has so much tooth to it you can layer all day on the stuff and it won’t fill up. The sanded paper had been pre-mounted onto acid-free foam core or acid-free, archival quality rag board.


Everyone painting in pastel needs a set of 96 NuPastel by Prismacolor. Supplement with Rembrandt, Girault, Senniliar, Unison and Terry Ludwig. They range from hard to very soft and are used for different purposes. The soft pastels, for example are used at the end of a painting for vibrant color – kinda like the icing on the cake. The hard pastels (NuPastels and Rembrandt) are your work horses and a must for fur. Girault and Senniliar are terrific for laying down your base coat which can end up being multiple layers. Get a good set of Derwent Pencils. They have multiple purposes, around the eyes and those tight spots. I have just about every pastel pencil out there but Derwent, Conté, Faber Castell, Rembrandt and Cretacolor are among my favorites.