Art Principles and History

Art Fundamentals

What are pastels?

Pastels are a popular medium used for drawing. To make pastels, gum or resin is added to pigment and formed into the shape of a small stick. When pastels are applied to a surface, the colors can appear powdery, and can be smeared or blended with the tip of a finger. When completed, pastel paintings need to be fixed with a spray or the colors can smear, though these sprays can sometimes cause discoloration. Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt are famous impressionist artists known for their use of pastels.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Art History Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App