Today I finished the portrait shown here, which is 11"x14" on a sanded support I've written about before called Pastelbord. I first applied watersoluble pastels as an underpainting, and then used colored pencils on top. This method allows me to achieve the smooth, rich color of paint and the detail and texture that colored pencils allow. As a comparison, a portrait of the same subject done with colored pencil alone on smooth bristol (heavy weight paper) can be seen here.
Although it's possible to achieve rich color on bristol board, it takes many more layers and about twice as long. In addition, any white areas must be reserved on the paper, whereas sanded supports allow for some white and light colors to be layered on top of darker colors. Finally, what I like about working on the sanded hard board surface is that the finished piece can be varnished and framed without glass, looking very much like an oil painting. I've decided to work on sanded surfaces almost exclusively from now on, unless otherwise requested by a client. The pieces in my Hands Collection are also done on Pastelbord. Feel free to post a comment and let me know what you think!