In the old time, back in the Renaissance period where artworks conquered the world with a different medium, pastel has been famous and an artist favorite as well, with their unmatched rich and vibrant colors to showcase, no wonder they became part of every painter’s life, to paint with this medium but little did we know about pastels, so let’s discover the surprising history of pastel paints and their beautiful background of vibrant colors.
So when was pastel paints first introduced? Did they have such texture like today’s modern pastel paints? How did they conquer the world and who make way for their discoveries?
Pastel Paints Composition
Pastel paints if examined may be compared to crayons for they are a mixture of colored powder and a mixture of binder that is like of clay or gum. With this surprising history of pastel paints, there are a variety of different types of pastels even in the old days that vary from how artists want to use them, just like any other painting media, they come with different quality as well, deriving from artist grade pastel that gives versatility and pigments of the highest quality to offer, to student grade ones for beginners to this medium. To check the quality of their colors, an artist that uses pastels knows how to determine whether the stick is of good quality or not.
Those sticks that weigh more tend to have more powdered pigments on them than those of lighter in weight. You can choose what type and brand of pastel will you used, ranging from the hard stick ones, most likely of a pencil type where the pastel is safely secured in a wooden compartment so it does not break easily. There are soft to softer sticks to which are of pure pastels that you can use from all side and edges.
The above-mentioned types are what we call the dry pastels and the oil pastels are of another kind, by which both are made of the same composition, only that oil pastels are like wax crayons in general and contain vibrant colors that can only be mix when an application to your painting or drawing surfaces.
Surprising History Of Pastel Paints
If you will be tracking history and check when was it first introduced or have been used by any painter, that will fall in the 16th Century in Northern Italy. Though it was during the Renaissance period where different artist and painting medium era was at its peak, no wonder that the surprising history of pastel paints pave the way to establish a great reputation in providing colors to the canvas and any media used. Captivated by pastels versatility to name a few wais Da Vinci. Oil pastels were not that popular yet during this era but the dry pastels can be seen in their artworks due to their vibrancy and unique characteristics. To sum up all the available colors of pastel paint to this day, about 1,600 where to record, though, during the old days, few colors were available like white, black and sometimes the reddish pigments as well.
With this surprising history of pastel paints, no wonder it reached stardom and was loved by the French people in between 18th to 19th Century as part of their lifestyle, to have their self painted in portraits with pastels paints. Though later on, pastels became discreet, Edgar Degas ignite the candle and light up the pathways for pastel paints to be recognized once again.
When Was Pastel First Used?
With the unique and surprising history of pastel paints, it was then discovered and were first used by Rosalba Carriera, who became famous for a different kind of painting technique using her hands for mixing and direct application to the painting surface with a soft stick and not a paintbrush. Though most of her artworks became popular, when she passed away, pastel paints were still used and appreciated around Europe.
With a delicate and exquisitely rich colors pastel can offer to painters, Jean Etienne Liotard from Switzerland continue using pastels and made their way to popularity as time goes by, with a soft composition and unmatched velvety texture, pastel became an artist must have the medium as well.
With all innovation from a different era, pastels landed the likes of Picasso in 1947 when the painter was affected by the war and supplies for oil paints was limited. Picasso then met with a manufacturer named Henri Sennelier and proposed for a finer version of this product and later on produced pastel paints in the market for everyone. As time goes by, pastel has been differentiated from the dry chalk pastels and the oil pastel paints.
Dry Pastels And Oil Pastels
Pastels were known for their absolutely rich and vibrancy of selective colors that can only be blend with the artist color preferences in the direct application to the painting surface itself. Though they produce such intricately fresh pigment into the surface, there are two kinds of pastel to choose from if you are into this medium.
Dry pastels are the most basic and popular kind of pastel paints ranging from hard square sticks, sometimes even securely inside a wooden cage such as pencil type pastels, soft sticks an even a softer one that provides illumination of amazing colors vitality.
Considered mostly as chalk pastels, the result can still vary depending on the surface that you will be using your pastel chalks and sticks, it is widely recommended to always used sanded paper for they have the toothy effect that holds the pastels pigments in place and avoids it from leaving the surface. Though there are other options to keep the pastel paints in a place like using fixatives, however, proper knowledge for they can affect the pigments properties and can turn them dull or darken the color as well.
Oil pastels are probably the most widely used even in history next to oil paints for they almost have the same waxy compositions and vibrant colors, which you can replace from oil paints due to their unique texture and leverage of pigments like oil paints.
Pastel needs limited materials to execute its wonderful effects that an artist wants to achieve to their workpiece, that is why if you will check in the surprising history of pastel paints, pastels became a favorite medium for the most artist as for the convenience that they had offered without sacrificing the quality of pigments they can produce on canvas and painting surfaces. They can be carried out anywhere and less maintenance to this medium as for those who want a quick and easy tool for arts.
Though an artist needs to prepare their chosen pigments for blending, it was still a great favor during the old days as painters had offered their services for portraits even in streets to create a masterpiece.
To this day, pastel painting has evolved from the very first time that is was introduced in the market and to the world, there are many names associated with pastel painting and the quality of pastels is the key that made the top pick for portability and excellent vibrant colors and versatility.
Draw Or Paint
Though there were discussions as to pastel can be a drawing or a painting, there have been clarifications to this type as well. Pastel painting is more likely of covering the entire painting surface with pastel paints where you cannot see what is under the painting surface. Commonly, pastel painting provides and executes artistic quality of vibrant colors, more likely of fresh scenes are best for pastel paints for they provide rich texture that no other painting media can apply. The trick for each texture is a delicate and softer application of pigments to the surface itself creating an illusion of realism.
While considered as pastel drawing, allowing few noticeable and visible surface paper that is not entirely covered by pigments, it still showcases beauty and evolution beyond the soft strokes of pastel paints without any brush used for creating an amazing artwork that can array with fine artistic arts too.
Pastel painting, just like any other medium, allows a combination of blending and unique texture for every masterpiece that is done with an artist imagination and hand techniques for color executions and application, that was passed by to us from generation to the next generation.