Understanding Pastel and How it Works

In this lesson are a selection of videos which give a really good idea of how pastels are  made and perhaps the first ever ‘pastel’ art. The first one below is a short video of how Unison pastels are made.

 How is Pastel made?

Where do our Pastels Come from?

I have included this short video from the caves in Northern Spain because it is often said that pastel is possibly the worlds first medium – used by artists to paint and draw.  Original pastels were of course based on earth pigments and minerals – and as such were available in some form to the cavemen.   Certainly application with a lump of clay pigment directly to the walls is thought to be the method used.   And of course this for of painting massively predates writing as a form of communication.  Interesting stuff.

What is it about the artisan pastel makers that is so wonderfully special?

Henri La Roche Pastels are made in Paris.  They are undoubtedly the Rolls Royce of Pastel – both exquisite and not inexpensive!   As one of Pastels treasured and traditional Artisan pastel makers it is also easy to understand why these pastels are so sought after by professional pastelists.

In Direct Contrast

This is a very interesting video – even if you don’t speak or understand German!

It shows the Schmincke method of pastel production – (shared by may companies) which produces pastels by extrusion.

This process is the more cost effective and usually the pastels produced this way are cheaper than hand made.

and one from Sennelier in France



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