Pastel

related topics
{@card@, make, design}
{church, century, christian}
{work, book, publish}
{group, member, jewish}
{acid, form, water}
{food, make, wine}
{law, state, case}
{language, word, form}
{game, team, player}

Pastel is an art medium in the form of a stick, consisting of pure powdered pigment and a binder. The pigments used in pastels are the same as those used to produce all colored art media, including oil paints; the binder is of a neutral hue and low saturation.

The color effect of pastels is closer to the natural dry pigments than that of any other process.[1]

The noun "pastel" gives rise to:

  • another noun, for an artwork whose medium is pastels
  • a verb, meaning to produce an artwork with pastels
  • an adjective, meaning pale in color

Contents

Pastel media

Pastel sticks or crayons consist of pure powdered pigment combined with a binder. The exact composition and characteristics of an individual pastel stick depends on the type of pastel and the type and amount of binder used. It also varies by individual manufacturer.

Dry pastels have historically used binders such as gum arabic, gum tragacanth. Methyl cellulose was introduced as a binder in the twentieth century. Often a chalk or gypsum component is present. They are available in varying degrees of hardness, the softer varieties being wrapped in paper.

Dry pastel media can be subdivided as follows:

  • Soft pastels: This is the most widely used form of pastel. The sticks have a higher portion of pigment and less binder, resulting in brighter colors. The drawing can be readily smudged and blended, but it results in a higher proportion of dust. Finished drawings made with soft pastels require protecting, either framing under glass or spraying with a fixative to prevent smudging.
  • Hard pastels: These have a higher portion of binder and less pigment, producing a sharp drawing material that is useful for fine details. These can be used with other pastels for drawing outlines and adding accents. However the colors are less brilliant than with soft pastels.
  • Pastel pencils: These are pencils with a pastel lead. They are useful for adding fine details.

In addition, pastels using a different approach to manufacture have been developed:

  • Oil pastels: These have a soft, buttery consistency and intense colors. They are slightly more difficult to blend than soft pastels, but do not require a fixative.
  • Water-soluble pastels: These are similar to soft pastels, but contain a water-soluble component, such as glycol. This allows the colors to be thinned out using a water wash.

There has been some debate within art societies as to what exactly counts as a pastel. The Pastel Society within the UK (the oldest pastel society) states the following are acceptable media for its exhibitions: "Pastels, including Oil pastel, Charcoal, Pencil, Conté, Sanguine, or any dry media". The emphasis appears to be on "dry media" but the debate continues.

Full article ▸

related documents
Wood as a medium
Hilt
Black tie
Circular saw
Bobbin lace
Photograph
Lithic flake
Leotard
Flange
Shuriken
Spinning wheel
Kevlar
Lapidary
Great Seal of the United States
Scabbard
Postmark
Snare drum
Loose socks
Compound bow
Prince Albert piercing
Washboard
Heads or Tails
Sewing
Visual arts
Climbing wall
Toothbrush
Mural
Dagger
Forge
SignWriting