Painting with Pastels - A Modern-Day Renaissance

Painting with Pastels - A Modern-Day Renaissance

Written by Aariana Adams

The beautiful medium of pastels is seeing a modern-day renaissance. The allure lies with the intoxicatingly endless choice of color. Every hue created by Mother Nature is yours; whatever your artist’s eye can conjure, pastels offer.

Beginners find pastels a good place to practice color, form and composition. Mixing colors and drying are not issues, and you can sketch, draw and paint with this medium. The pastel-stick is held in your hand – no brushes to deal with. Be as traditional or as abstract as you like, and the fresh, luminous colors will still be pure and brilliant when handed down to your children and grandchildren.

This is a medium that most accomplished artists want to explore at some time in their career. The varied pastel-magic of masters such as Edgar Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Georgia O’Keefe is held in ageless-esteem, and the works of contemporary pastelists, like Doug Dawson, Elizabeth Mowry, and others, continue to garner great interest and high-praise.

The medium of pastels, with its clarity of color, is perfect for cityscapes, landscapes, night-scenes and portraits. Fresh and bold, power and majesty, dark or light, sweet and pure – whatever your style, pastels makes it possible.

New products for the pastelist include: pastel easels with internal storage for colors, a tilt-feature for good lighting and dust management, and easel organizers designed specifically for this medium. The new Roz Box stores handmade pastels and is perfect for travel. Air purifiers designed with the pastelist in mind should be a consideration if you are serious about pastels. Two new choices are: The Artist’s Air -- collects pastel dust and works directly in the easel’s environment and the Allerair Exec 5000, specifically for particulate dust.

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Gives an overview of new products for pastelists. Discusses why this is a timeless, yet excellent medium for the beginner; emphasizes the advantages of an endless range of colors, and the ability to sketch, draw and paint.