What Are Pastels?
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Pastel is pure pigment, the same pigment used in making all fine art paints. It is the most permanent of all media, when applied to conservation ground and properly framed. Pastel has no liquid binder that may cause other media to darken, fade, yellow, crack or blister with time. Pastels from the 16th century exist today, as fresh as the day they were painted. No restoration needed, ever!
A particle of Pastel pigment seen under a microscope looks like a diamond with many facets. Therefore, Pastel paintings reflect light like a prism. No other medium has the same power of color or stability. Properly framed, they are one of the most permanent media.
Pastel does not at all refer to pale colors, as the word is commonly used in cosmetic and fashion terminology. The name Pastel comes from the French word “Pastische” because the pure, powdered pigment is ground into a paste, with a small amount of gum binder, and then rolled into sticks. The infinite variety of colors in the Pastel palette range from soft to subtle to bold and brilliant.
Note: pastel must never be confused with colored chalk. Chalk is a limestone substance impregnated with dyes.
Pastels By Paula
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