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Vanessa Turner - Bermudian Artist

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10 Reasons I Love The Pastel Medium

10 Reasons Why I Love The Pastel Medium

10 Reasons Why I Love The Pastel Medium

The definition of love may apply to a wide range of connotations, but for many pastelists, no other word in the English language better defines how we feel about the pastel medium. So today I’m sharing with you, 10 reasons I love the pastel medium.

1. Simplicity

You don’t need a great detail of supplies and materials to get started in pastel. No need for lots of paint thinners, varnishes, brushes and the like. Just a few sheets of your favourite paper, a small but reasonable set of pastels and you’ve got everything you need to create a beautiful work of art!

2. Reduced Preparation

Pastel paintings require very little preparation. There is no need to prep a canvas or set up a palette. Once I have my substrate/paper clipped onto the easel, I’m ready to begin making marks and bring my vision to life.

3. Direct Connection

Unlike other mediums which require a tool such a brush to apply the medium, pastels can be held in one’s hand. Nothing compares to the feeling of a stick of pure, rich pigment being drawn across a surface. The direct connection of a pastel stick in hand creates an intimacy that is lacking in other media that have to rely on additional art tools for deployment.

Amongst The Thorns
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4. No Drying Time

One of the things I love most about pastel is that there is no drying time. There’s no need to wait for paint layers to dry. It’s extremely ideal for artists like myself who are rather busy and prefer to work quickly. I can layer one colour on top of the other immediately and can easily pick up wherever I left off

5. Minimal Cleaning

Because pastels are applied directly by hand, the cleaning process is almost nonexistent. There is no need to clean brushes, pallets etc. The majority of cleaning is limited to washing my hands whenever my session is finished.

6. Versatility & Uniqueness

Because artist apply pastels directly by hand, each artists has a unique style and mark making (almost like handwriting) that makes their work distinctive. Pastels also offer a wide variety of application. An individual artist can choose to make a simple pastel sketch leaving much of the working surface exposed or create a painting with multiple layers of pastel.

7. Travel Companion

Pastels make a fantastic travel companion. They can be packed easily within a carry-on or suitcase alongside small sheets of paper. This works out perfectly when attending conventions or workshops overseas or when spending a day out at a beautiful location.

8. Forgiveness

Perhaps one of the reasons pastels have grown on me so much during my artistic journey is because of how forgiving the medium is. The majority of errors are easy to correct. Pastel can be removed from paper, painted over with a new layer and so much more. There are always ways to revive a painting that is not going in the desired direction.

9. Luminosity

A box of pastels really looks like something fresh out of a candy store. Not only are they beautiful in their boxes but they create some of the most luminous captivating paintings known to the artwork.

10. Archival

Just like most dry drawing materials pastels are immediate and don’t change. When protected by glass, pastel often outlast works in other mediums. It never cracks, darkens or fades.

And there you have it! 10 Reasons I Love The Pastel Medium!

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