Artist Judith Woodbury will talk about the benefits and drawbacks of pastel painting.

Pastel sticks or crayons consist of powdered pigment combined with a binder.

Pastel sticks and pencils.

We have borrowed heavily from the Wikipedia page on pastel.

The Cave of Altamira is a cave complex, located in Cantabria, Spain. It is renowned for prehistoric cave art featuring charcoal drawings and polychrome paintings of contemporary local fauna and human hands.

Bison on the roof of the pit.

Why choose pastel?

Pastel supports and grounds

Pastel supports need to provide a “tooth” for the pastel to adhere and hold the pigment in place. Supports include:

  • laid paper (e.g. Ingres, Canson Mi Teintes)
  • abrasive supports (e.g. with a surface of finely ground pumice, marble dust, or rottenstone)
  • velour paper (e.g. Hannemühle Pastellpapier Velour) suitable for use with soft pastels is a composite of synthetic fibers attached to acid-free backing [5][6]
  • Make your own grounds!
House Wrap, Sandpaper, Water color paper, Painted plywood, Wallis paper.
Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl, Portrait of a Young Woman, c. 1915, pastel on orange paper, Art Institute of Chicago

Rosalba Carriera, Self-portrait holding a portrait of her sister, 1715, pastel on paper
Maurice Quentin de La Tour Self-portrait with Lace Jabot (ca 1751)
Maurice Quentin de La Tour, a bravura pastel portrait of Louis XV, 1748
Maurice Quentin de La Tour Queen Marie Leszczyńska
Maurice Quentin de La Tour Marquise_de_Pompadour
Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin. Self Portrait, 1771, pastel on paper, The Louvre
Édouard Manet, Madame Michel-Lévy, 1882, pastel on canvas, National Gallery of Art
Edgar Degas, La Toilette (Woman Combing Her Hair), c. 1884–1886, pastel on paper, Pushkin Museum, Moscow
Fin d’Arabesque, with ballerina Rosita Mauri, 1877, Musée d’Orsay
Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers (Star of the Ballet) (also with ballerina Rosita Mauri), 1878
Deux danseuses, 1879 at the Shelburne Museum
A portrait by Nathalie Picoulet contemporary Pastelist in France
Mary Cassatt, Sleepy Baby, 1910
Artist Milly LaPerche Boy-in-Washtub
Artist Milly LaPerche Unknown Sitter
‘Koda’ Schnauzer Artist Judith Woodbury
Cat on a shelf by Judith Woodbury 2012
‘Sammie’ Border Collie Artist Judith Woodbury

You can work from a photograph or set up a still life in your studio.

Leon Dabo, Flowers in a Green Vase, c. 1910s
James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Venetian Scene, 1879, pastel on paper
‘Puget Sound’ Artist Judith Woodbury

Links to online stores that sell art supplies. This listing does not imply endorsement.  There is also a walk-in store in Portland Maine. Online. Online. Online. There is a Michaels Store in Newington, NH

Learning resources at Ogunquit Library:

“The artists handbook of materials and techniques” by Ralph Mayer.

“The Encyclopedia of Pastel Techniques” by Judy Martin.

Participants can learn about pastel technique, best supports, safe use of materials (don’t breathe in pastel dust!), the benefits of a slanted easel, the reshaping of pastel sticks, using fixative, proper framing, and more.

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