Why do artists use pastels?

With pastels, you can achieve a wonderfully luscious, velvety texture. The deep, rich colors are easy to blend and when used well, they can have a splendid luminosity. Another advantage is that you don't need a lot of tools to work with pastels, as you would with paints.

What is the use of pastels in art?

It can be used to create broad strokes that appear buttery and solid like oil paints, but they can also be used to create precise lines and marks akin to any drawing implement. Further appeal of pastel painting lies in its wide range of colors and blending ability.

Do real artists use pastels?

Pastels have been used by artists since the Renaissance, and gained considerable popularity in the 18th century, when a number of notable artists made pastel their primary medium.

What are pastels used for drawing?

A pastel (US: /pæˈstɛl/) is an art medium in the form of a stick, consisting of powdered pigment and a binder. The pigments used in pastels are similar to those used to produce some other colored visual arts media, such as oil paints; the binder is of a neutral hue and low saturation.

Do you draw or paint with pastels?

Pastels offer an artist an unlimited palette with few constraints as to application and expression. Indeed, there seem to be more individual styles than any other medium, in part because pastel can act as both drawing and painting.

Art Tips - 5 Tips For Using Oil Pastels

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using pastels?

pros and cons of using pastels

With pastels, you can achieve a wonderfully luscious, velvety texture. The deep, rich colors are easy to blend and when used well, they can have a splendid luminosity. Another advantage is that you don't need a lot of tools to work with pastels, as you would with paints.

Are pastels considered fine art?

Student-Grade Oil Pastels. If you're looking for a fine art medium that is clean, portable, lightfast, and powerful, consider oil pastels. While artist-grade oil pastels can run expensive, they aren't as big an expense as soft pastels and can be used on almost any surface.

What is unique about pastels?

One thing that is truly unique about pastels is the exposure of pigment in the finished piece. Unlike paint where the pigment is mixed in with a binder, the pigment in pastel is fairly raw… …and it's a huge reason why pastels look so vibrant in the first place.

Did Van Gogh use soft pastels?


With a passion for art and a desire to learn different styles and techniques, Vincent van Gogh first used pastels in his pursuit of a career in art.

Should I wear a mask when using pastels?

Wear the right dust mask and wear it properly

Another common sense precaution when painting with pastels is to use a dust mask when you paint with pastels.

Did Picasso use pastels?

Modernist master Pablo Picasso wore many artistic hats. While he is predominantly known for his stylistic paintings, avant-garde sculptures, and even collage work, he also dabbled in professional-grade oil pastel—an implement he himself helped pioneer.

How long will a pastel painting last?

If properly taken care of, your painting will last for many lifetimes. Pastel is one of the most permanent art mediums in existence. Many pastels painted over 200 years ago are still as bright and fresh as the day they were created. The artist's pigments in my pastels are the same as those used in fine oil paints.

Do pastels get old?

Of course they will. Even if theyv'e been wet, then dried out or whatever—–they will. They are pure pigment, with a little binder—if dirty you can either gently vaccum then, or sotly bounce them in some ground rice or cornmeal. Try them out on some paper or something.

What do you need for pastel art?

Here's an art supplies list of what you need to start using pastels.
  • Pastel Paper. Different brands of pastel paper have different textures or surfaces to give the pastel something to grip onto. ...
  • Pastel Colors. ...
  • Fixative. ...
  • Sketchbook for Practicing. ...
  • An Easel. ...
  • Drawing Board. ...
  • Bulldog Clips. ...
  • Pencil for Initial Sketching.

What is the difference between pastel art making and watercolor painting?

In watercolor you work from light to dark. In pastels you usually work from dark to light. Another difference here is that in watercolor it is usually mandatory that you work from light to dark. In pastels, although working from dark to light is typical, it isn't mandatory.

Can I paint over soft pastels?

Oil paint can be applied over the soft pastel. The solvents in the oil paint will penetrate the soft pastel. Edges of forms sketched in pastel can be left exposed on the finished oil painted canvas. Even large areas of soft pastel can be free of oil paint application.

Which famous artist used oil pastels?

In the late 1860s Edgar Degas (1834-1917) started to use it. It is he who is generally recognised as having transformed the pastel from a sketching tool into a core artistic medium. It was not long before other greats such as Gauguin, Matisse, Monet, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec were using pastel with huge success.

Are van Gogh pastels good?

At the very least, VanGogh Extra Fine oil pastels are a quality student brand with the same pigments used in artist grade supplies and a good texture. Opacity is good especially in the white.

Where are Rembrandt pastels made?

Rembrandt soft pastels were first introduced in 1924 from the Talens factory in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands. They were my first pastels as a teenager and are still one of my favourite pastels as a professional artist.

What are the pastel techniques?

7 Distinct Techniques to Transform Your Oil Pastel Projects
  • Heavy Pressure Blending. Generously add oil pastel in one direction onto your paper. ...
  • Light Pressure Blending. Lightly add oil pastels on paper with little pressure. ...
  • Color Mixing. ...
  • Stippling. ...
  • Scumbling. ...
  • Sgraffito. ...
  • Oil.

How do you draw pastels?

With these foundations in place, let's get started with pastel drawing.
  1. Pick your pastels. Use specific pastels for different techniques. ...
  2. Layering and smudging with pastels. ...
  3. Select a pastel paper. ...
  4. Experiment with soft and hard pastels. ...
  5. Test drive pencils and oils. ...
  6. Create washes with water-soluble pastels.

Is lavender a pastel color?

Pink, mauve, and baby blue are commonly used pastel colors, as well as mint green, peach, periwinkle, and lavender.

When did artists start using pastels?

Pastels originated in northern Italy in the 16th century and were used by Jacopo Bassano and Federico Barocci. The German artist Hans Holbein the Younger and the French artists Jean and François Clouet did pastel portraits in the same period.

Can you use paint brushes with pastels?

Dilute some oil pastels

Moisten an oil painting paintbrush with white spirit or turpentine. Brush on the pastel: its pigments will blend and the color can be moved around just like paint. Your lines will disappear and be replaced by paintbrush strokes.

Are oil paintings more valuable than pastel?

My personal take on this is that oils are perceived as having a higher intrinsic value by some art buyers when compared to pastels, watercolors, acrylics and other non oil mediums, and are willing to pay more for the same quality of work when done with oils.

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