Recently when I was buying supplies in my local art supply store (Bijan's, in London, Ontario), the owner/artist persuaded me to try pastel painting on suede matboard--maybe because he had a big box of it on sale at the time? :) I'd had one or two experiences with it previously, but decided to give it another try--what's $10 for some experimentation, right? I chose a dark brown sheet, and cut it into two sections: a square and thin rectangle. The surface is extremely soft and deep, and I found that the use of a pencil to sketch in the initial layout of the scene left indentations that never did fill in--so don't use pencil or any other sharp-pointed implement! I suggest laying out the scene with the blunt end of a pastel instead.
I loved the ease with which I could spread the colour over the surface of the board, but it sure wouldn't take many layers, and tight or fine detail was out of the question.
So, I ended up with two nice little pieces that are uncharacteristically "Impressionaistic" and even a bit abstract. Fun, but ultimately the experience didn't persuade me to rush out to buy more of the suede matboard--sorry, Bijan!
Some viewers LOVE these pieces, and others are lukewarm--it just goes to show that tastes differ. In the end, the artist must be true to what pleases her or him self.