I am really enjoying working on a black ground and the effect when parts of the black show through. I have found black sanded pastel paper (Art Spectrum Colourfix) online but haven’t ordered any yet. (The cost for shipping holds me back as they’re in the U.S. My local art supply store told me last week that they aren’t able to get any in. I think shipping costs is the reason, but I didn’t ask.) And, I haven’t checked out the other art supply stores in the city yet, so I’m not giving up just yet!
I did get some dark blue and brown sanded Art Spectrum Colourfix papers but ended up taking my lampblack pastel and giving them a good black ground anyway. (I was disappointed that my local art supply store didn’t have any Sennelier lampblack, just the ivory black. Lampblack is so much softer and smoother!)
It was also suggested to me to try an acrylic ground on the paper but I’m afraid the paper would lose its tooth that way. I have seen recipes for making your own sanded pastel paper with acrylics and pumice, and maybe one day I will try that. But for now, I’ll keep laying down a first layer of black pastel, work on smaller pieces and be careful for my fingertips! And I’ll check out the other art supply shops here after Christmas – maybe they’ll have the paper I’m looking for and if not, they might have some great sales on!