Soft pastels are a dry medium with high intensity pigments. They are similar to oil paints, but in a dry form. Most come in a sticks (which is what I use), and others come in small pans and are applied with brushes. People who aren't familiar with soft pastels often think it's a classification of color, rather than being a medium an artist uses to create. They have been used for centuries by many well known "old masters" (Degas, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, and Mary Stevenson Cassatt). Pastels are a permanent art form, but they are quite different from oils or acrylics, in that they have some special needs. Pastel art should always be framed behind glass, not Plexiglas! Plexiglas has an electromagnetic charge, which can pull the pastel dust off of the paper. Also, pastel artwork should be kept away from high humidity situations, like bathrooms or kitchens. When you receive the painting, the surface of the pastel really shouldn't be touched, as some pastel might come off.  I do use high quality sanded (in most cases) archival papers, and high quality soft pastels for all of my work. A few pieces are done on handmade sanded Masonite surfaces.



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