Thanks for writing and I hope this information helps.
You do not need the PM solution especially with inkjet-coated papers. I never even used it on Photographic papers. It is a combination of turpentine and oil and leaves a telltale smudge on the area where you take out the color. Good luck with your class. Have fun! Theresa
Epson Enhanced Matte Paper
This paper has a tougher finished than the other Epson papers and you can use Marshall Oil pencils on its surface without leaving too much of a shiny surface behind. But removing the color once laid down is impossible. When you try to pull it out the Marshall Oil coloring with a kneaded eraser, the surface breaks down and lifts. Blending is the same….rub too hard and you lift the surface. So if you want intense color or full color in small areas, they work fine.
With Conté pastel Pencils….
The color goes down easily and can be reduced with a kneaded eraser without breaking the surface; the color can be blended also, if a gentle hand is used.
However with both of these mediums (pastel pencils and oil pencils) on inkjet-coated surfaces, the secret is not to put the color down with a heavy hand. The Pastel color will blend out, so it is a waste to put it down heavily to begin with, but with inkjet coated papers it is a disaster. When applied with a heavy hand, it will scratch and you will see the “lift ups” of the inkjet coating.
My choice would be to go with the Conté pastel pencils and emphasize to apply gently, blend gently, and remove gently. I think they will get the message here…the operative word is gentle J
As beginners tend to be heavy handed when first learning to color, I would advise getting a sized watercolor paper to begin with and then move into using the Epson Enhanced Matte. As watercolor papers are sized for “re-working”, their surface is tougher and harder than an inkjet surface. They can remove color easily and lay down a new color without the worry of “lifting” the surface.
Both Arches’ Bright White Watercolor paper and Fabriano’s Classico 5 watercolor papers work very well in inkjet printers and give you a great print. You should buy the l40lbs, Hot Pressed Watercolor paper.
The original print will be muted in color if compared to an inkjet print, but if you jack up the saturation and contrast, you will come close to the inkjet version. In any case, if they are to hand color the image, this will not matter. It is a far cheaper way to go, especially for beginners. You can buy both of these at Dick Blick or Daniel Smith for great prices. especially if you get the 25 pack of 22 x 30 sheets and cut them down yourself.