I,ve been using soft pastels recently and have been experimenting with different paper and pastels. The paper I have found to be best for me is the Clairefontaine Pastel Mat. It does seem to be able to take a lot of pastel. Without a doubt the best pastels I have found are UNISON soft pastels they are easy to apply and come in a very large range of colours so they are worth checking out if you are looking to try pastels or change your pastels. I,m not really into trying to reproduce the exact copy of a photograph or scene. For one I don,t have the talent or skill and as a photographer feel I would rather use the camera. I really admire artists who can produce life like pastels ,but it,s not for me. I have tried in this to give it a painterly quality only you can say whether I have even half succeeded. Your comments are always welcome.