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Monday, December 23, 2019

Pastels Tendres * Soft Pastels

People wonder about soft pastels, are they painting? do they last?
Here is a simple explanation from the National Gallery of Art, which has some amazing works on display right now, September 29, 2019 – January 26, 2020:  (follow the link below for more info)

Head of a Bearded Man,
Benedetto Luti, Italian, 1666-1724
"FIRST USED DURING THE RENAISSANCE, pastels are still manufactured from a carefully balanced mix of pigment, a filler such as chalk or clay, and a binder, then shaped into sticks and dried. With a single stroke of this stick, the artist applies both color and line. Because of the medium’s soft, crumbly texture, the line can be left intact or smudged with a finger or stump (a rolled piece of leather or paper) into a broad area of tone. Pastelists have used this versatile medium in countless different ways over the centuries. Some have covered the surface of the paper or other support with a thick, velvety layer of pastel, while others have taken a more linear approach. Some have even ground the stick to a powder and rubbed it into the support, applied it with a stump, or moistened it and painted it on with a brush. Throughout history, the views of artists and their audiences toward the medium have varied as widely as the techniques of those who used it."   ~National Gallery of Art

[painting by Benedetto Luti, Italian, 1666-1724, Head of a Bearded Man]

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