Because I often get asked what is pastel, I have some information aggregated.

I use different types of pastels from different manufacturers because it gives a wider range of colors and diversity of hard and softness of the material obtained.

Pastel pigments which consists of gypsum together with kalkof are compressed into a round piece of chalk, as a binder, a gum used traditional Arab gomof traganth, nowadays mostly cellulose. The material is very soft and can be just as charcoal easily be rubbed out. Most brands give any shade of white by a gradation in the amount of lime to increase. This is the origin of the term "pastel shade." The most expensive brands have the pins at full strength color component and there is no lime than from almost pure pigment.

Pastel is opaque. This has the advantage that it can be used on colored paper, or even black. This can with limited resources a particular result can be achieved, because the color of the paper is intended as a midrange control the tonality of the work.

The mixing of colors is extremely difficult to pastel, which may be accomplished by hand or by uitwrijving with a feather but this is a sign-like style expressive impossible. Why buy pastellists many different tones. In the sixties, this led to an assortment of more than a thousand colors. However, since the great fragility pastels by hand must be packed, now most brands have their ranges reduced to around two hundred shades to the wage costs down. This makes it popular again become self pastels to manufacture. The method is very simple: they slaked lime mixed with a pigment by addition of an aqueous solution of gum arabic. If the mass has a dough-like consistency is obtained, it can be found by hand into the desired shape, kneading or roll into a mold, or pressing. After drying the finished pastel. The desired color and hardness is determined by the desired amount of lime and gum vary. The pure material costs are about one tenth of the purchase price of a pastel in the store. Some shades can only be acquired by admixture of a black pigment. This method has a characteristic that as a possible disadvantage can be considered: the pins are not, as in commercially manufactured pastel, pressed together under high pressure. This is a larger gomcomponent necessary to prevent breakage, which means that they will continue to draw harder. The British brand Winsor & Newton used to be introduced in 1997 pastel series apparently no gum, so that the pin all crumble under light pressure, which yields an extremely soft key.

Personally, I fix my work during and after gestation with alcohol (96%) white shellac dissolved. I do use a fixative reed.

A famous artist at the end of the 19th century had worked much in pastel by Edgar Degas.