(6 photos) Although pastels have been in use since the Renaissance, Edgar Degas developed the pastel technique and used it as his medium almost exclusively after 1885. What are pastels? It depends what term of speech you are using. Degas’ painting above is known as a pastel. To pastel (verb) means to paint/draw a pastel. As a noun pastel also refers to the stick used to create the painting. This stick or crayon consists of a pure powdered pigment and a binder which does not add to or change the colour of the pigment. Using this medium creates vibrant colours which are the closest of any art medium to the pigment colour. Degas painting (above) used the media known as soft pastel which gives the brightest colours of all the pastel medias. My nephew’s artwork (age 7) (below) used mainly hard pastel allowing him finer lines.
If however, where the word pastel is used as an adjective it means soft in colour such as these paintings below. None are done with pastels and yet they are pastel scenes.
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