Pastel ~ Pastels ~ Art History ~ Major Artists ~ Pastel Art ~ 176 Slides

The author is a retired attorney and still producing artist.

THERE ARE MANY ACTUAL SLIDES FROM THE PRESENTATION ON THIS PAGE. THEY ARE YOUR BEST GUIDE TO THE PRODUCT.

EXCERPT: Why Use PASTELS?

The starting question is why an artist would want to use pastels instead of painting with oil, watercolor or acrylic. The answer to this question varies on the artist in question. Let’s look at a few.

For Edgar Degas, he was painting figures in motion: dancers; racehorses and their jockeys; and women in all stages of taking a bath. When he painted a stiller subject, he often did go back to using oil paints with a brush. It is very easy to carry around pastels and paper with you and then use them in just about any setting. He was doing his painting in theaters, women’s bedrooms and racecourses. Those would be difficult places to use an easel and oil paints.

Pastels dry quickly too. Oil paint does not. He would want to get down as much of the composition as he could right away. That is impossible with oil painting. Sitters can spend months posing for an oil painting.

Mary Cassatt, Degas’s student and friend, spent more and more time painting young children. They too are in constant motion. Speed becomes a high priority when trying to capture their moments.

Picasso and Henri Goetz told Sennelier, the paint manufacturer, their reasons: the immediacy of having the instrument of art right in your hand rather than extending from your hand in the form of a brush. It feels much more natural and freer. Plus there are no brushes to clean and no canvases to prime.

Manet was very ill in the last years of his life with the late stage complications of syphilis. If one is ill, one can also easily haul the pastels and paper onto a bed or sofa and work from there. Manet was having neurological effects so it also would have been easier to grasp a pastel than grasp and hold onto a brush. Standing before an easel for hours on end would have been impossible as he entered the last phase of his illness.

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Created: Mar 27, 2017

Updated: Feb 22, 2018

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