Monday, July 18, 2011

Frolicking with Pastel

Last summer, I had a chance to make art in pastels: one in pastel chalk and another in oil pastel. I enjoyed using both media, though I prefer the former.

Pastel chalk is made from pigments mixed with starch as a binder. Once applied on  paper, it can be easily spread using your finger or a piece of cellulosic fiber (aka tissue paper). However, this generates a lot of dust that may irritate your lungs. More, it needs a paper with rough surface to hold the pigment. Usually a fixative is used, like a hair spray, to protect the colors and preserve the art piece. You don’t want to wake up one day to find your pastel portrait gone. Afterall, you don’t live in Hogwarts where pictures move and gallivant around.
Oil pastel, on the other hand, is made of pigments mixed with oil or wax as binder. Since it gives vibrant colors, white papers are suggested to be used. Unlike pastel chalk, its colors stick to the paper. It does not need a fixative but it needs a cover like a glass to prevent accumulation of dust. Personally, I had a hard time working on this medium. Since it dries so fast, I cannot spread the pigments as well as the pastel chalks.

Just as there are many ways to cook a chicken, pastels are another tool to express one’s artistic nature. A good tool for those who are intimidated with paints and brushes. You can used pastels from still-life to portrait. Don’t forget the precautions to preserve your work. You don’t want you work to disappear and leave you with a paper.
That is, if you are not using a page of Tom Riddle’s diary.


  1. Thanks for the info, P're.

    But, I never did peg you for a Potter fan. I've exhaustively made my point about how the use of wands was the ultimate deal breaker for me, so I will rest my case. :)#

  2. I was a Potter fan until I watched Book 5: Order of the Phoenix. So much more when I watched Book 6 twice. And I do agree about the wand. That is one deal-breaker I was willing to forgo until Book 7 disappointed me again (and I still haven't watched the sequel yet). :)