It is interesting to know how the word pastel has evolved. This word has been derived from the French word “pastiche“. Pastels are nothing but pure powdered pigment which is ground into a paste by adding some gum binder. Pastel media is something that we all must have done at certain point in our life especially during school days. Pastel crayons are essentially what we first use when we are exposed to art as a medium of learning. This is simply because this medium is easy to learn and comfortable to use. The advantage that pastels have over other medium is that it has direct application of pastel colours on the canvas.
The Dry pastel medium, which is the common medium of art, is categorized as under:
Hard dry pastels – Because these pastels have a higher portion of binder and less pigment they produce a sharp drawing. Hence this is used for drawing fine details in a picture.
Soft pastels – this is the preferred choice of people who love to use pastels. These colours have a higher portion of pigment and less proportion of gum binder. This results in soft pastels being brighter than the hard ones. These pastels can be easily smudged and blended and give a great effect.
Pastel pencils – these have a pastel lead to it and are used to add fine details to a picture.
Apart from these, oil pastels are also available that have a soft and smooth consistency. These pastels are intense colours but are slightly more difficult to blend than soft pastels.