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.