Although pastel is a very old medium, it is
now enjoying a renaissance among artists and
collectors. Increasing numbers of artists
are using pastel as their primary medium.
Pastel is not “chalk”. The pigments used in
pastel are the same pigments used in
watercolor, oil, and acrylic painting. The
pastel stick is made up of very finely
ground pigment held in stick form by a very
light binder. The pastel stick is applied to
a finely textured, prepared, neutral pH
surface, most commonly sand, aluminum oxide
or pumice using various stroke techniques.
The friction between the pigment and the
painting surface permanently locks the
microscopic pastel grains in place. The lack
of oil, acrylic, or liquid binders found in
other mediums allows the pastel painting to
exude a stunning brilliance and clarity not
found in other painting mediums.
There are as many
techniques of pastel painting as there are
artists who are using the medium. Beautiful
textures, vibrant colors, expressive
strokes, and sensitive modeling are part of
pastel's appeal to the artist and the
collector. Pastel artists are free from the
hassles of tedious preparation, technical
application details, and drying time found
in other paint mediums. The possibilities of
the pastel medium are endless, limited only
by the artist's ingenuity and imagination .
The permanency of pastel
contributes to its value. Properly framed,
displayed and protected by UV museum glass,
the realistic life expectancy of a pastel
painting can be measured in centuries. The
purchaser of a pastel painting can be
assured that the work they are buying today
will remain beautiful and vibrant for their
lifetime and far into the future.