Pastels in the spotlight at Fine Art Gallery

Pastel is regarded one of the most versatile and beautiful materials in the art world.

26 October 2021 | Art and Entertainment

Martina von Wenzel; Fine Art Gallery; “… we’re shining a spotlight on the special pieces we have at Fine Art Gallery.”

Various artists are currently displaying their pastel artwork at the Fine Art Gallery in Swakopmund. These artists include Paul Dixon, Werner Schröder, Rosemarie Kuchling, Paul Bosman, Armin Sander, Dieter Aschenborn and other.

According to the gallery owner, Martina von Wenzel, a piece of pastel artwork comes together with delicacy and focus. “Pastel arts are few and far between, so we’re shining a spotlight on the special pieces we have at Fine Art Gallery.” Known for its brilliant colours and its delicate, velvety texture, pastel is regarded one of the most versatile and beautiful materials in the art world.
Artists have found innumerable ways to use it; from glowing portraits in the 18th century to the shimmering landscapes of the impressionists and the abstract compositions of the 20th century.

Misconceptions

Pastels have also attracted more myths than any other art medium, for example, that they are incredibly fragile, that the colours fade, that pastel limits a painter’s artistic expression, or that it is no more than a sketching tool. However, these are all statements without any substance. So read on and learn the facts. A pastel is typically in the form of a stick, consisting of pure powdered pigment and a binder to hold it all together. The pigments used in pastels are the same as those used to produce other art mediums, including oil paints, so they’re not much different. The colour effect of pastels is closer to the natural, dry pigments than any other medium, which sometimes creates that soft colour everyone raves about. Pastels are widely loved because of their strong pigmentation, and thus their ability to be the only medium needed. You only need a piece of paper and a pastel and you are off creating pastel art ─ no other materials are needed. Pastels are independent, although they do require an artist; in the hands of a skilled exponent, it is the most poetic and responsive of media. When handled correctly, pastels are permanent and can last just as long as any other medium. Pastels never crack, yellow or darken over time.

History of Pastels

The history of pastels can be traced back to the Renaissance. The medium is said to have originated in Northern Italy during the 16th century, and it became a favourite of the masters, including Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. They used chalk for sketching. At that time, there were only a few colours in their palette—black, white and red. Pastel artists use pigments of every possible hue, starting with dark and transitioning to light. Layers of colour on the paper add depth to landscapes or portraits. But while the name may bring to mind soft, hazy colours, works created with pastel can be bold and daring, evoking a wide range of emotions.