Exploring Art… Pastels
The use of dry pigments in art have been around long before recorded history. In their present form they’ve been used as a medium since the 16th century. Pastels are dry colored pigment with a small amount of binder, molded into a stick form. Pastels are pigment at its purest.
Pastels generally come in these forms:
- Soft pastels sticks which have a higher portion of pigment and less binder, resulting in brighter colors. The drawing can be readily smudged and blended.
- Hard pastels have a higher portion of binder and less pigment, producing a sharp drawing material that is useful for fine details.
- Pastel pencils whose lead is pastel. These are useful in adding fine detail.
- Oil pastels which are soft and buttery, but are harder to blend then soft pastels.
- Water-soluble are similar to soft pastels, but contain a water-soluble component, that allows the colors to be thinned out using a water wash.
Pastels are generally applied to a surface with “tooth”, which holds the pigment in place. Pastels must be protected when framed. You should ensure that your pastel is framed behind UV glass. The pastel should be mounted with a mat that prevents the glass from touching the painting. Never use synthetic glass or Plexiglas, as it might hold a static electric charge which would attract the pastel pigments off the surface of the work.
Below are some wonderful original works of pastel art. As with all of my featured art/artists these are pieces I would purchase for myself or as a gift.
- Aqua by Nancy Reyner
- Lavender Farm by Thea D. of Soli Deo Gloria
- Spring Memories by Karen Margulis
- Seeds She Planted by Story of a Seed
- Laughing Lemons by Cindy Michaud
- Glass Apples by Corinne Gallas
- Clearing Gates by Christine Kane
- Work Boots by Ria Hill
- Young Ballerina by Luda Angel
- River Abstraction by Debora Stewart