"Pastels will do things that other mediums don't come near. It feels personal and it goes onto paper as a direct unencumbered expression of every impassioned moment. To get the feel of it, one must bury oneself into its very essence."
- Harley Brown
Pastel does not refer to pale colour, as the word is commonly used in fashion terminology, instead it is derived from the French word 'pastiche'. The pure powdered pigment is ground to a 'paste' with a small amount of gum binder and then rolled into sticks. The infinite varieties of colours range from soft and subtle, to bold and brilliant. In fact, the luminosity of the pastel medium is a constant source of amazement amongst viewers.
Pastel is not coloured chalk, which is a limestone substance. Pastel is a dry medium of pure pigment, the same pigment used in making all fine art paints. When a pastel painting is framed under glass, it is the most permanent of all mediums, as it has no liquid binder which may cause darkening, fading or cracking with time, as can be the case with some mediums. Pastels from the 16th century still exist today, as fresh as the day they were painted.