View Full Version : Exactly What Does 80% Pastel Mean ????

Kathryn Wilson
07-18-2006, 05:05 PM
Okay all you judges and show committee members - define 80% pastel for me.

For those not knowing what this question is about - most all-pastel show committees require that your submitted work be at least 80% pastel. Some shows require percentages more or less.

So just for clarification, where does that line exist between acceptable and something called multi-media.


I would like to combine acrylic backgrounds (or underpainting) with pastels and before I do an "ooooops", I'd like to know. :rolleyes:

07-18-2006, 07:40 PM
Hi Kat,

I guess I see your point.
If it's extra pastel for the underlayer, or even mixed with the pastel dust, or aside the pastel.
Since they only say 80%, I'd say anything.

Kind regards,


07-18-2006, 08:52 PM
Perhaps it is allowing for an underpaintingin a different media, so long as the bulk of the painting is in Pastel.

Or maybe it is back to the what is a pastel painting...maybe they are asking for at least 80% of the paper to be covered, so they don't have to wade through simple pastel sketches - just a thought.

K Taylor-Green
07-18-2006, 09:54 PM
Don't quote me, but I always took it to mean 80% pastel, 20% another medium.

Kathryn Wilson
07-18-2006, 10:00 PM
But there's the rub Kate, if you do a full underpainting, is that not 1/2 and 1/2?

This is a dialog I'd like to keep going to see just what everyone interprets this "rule" as.

Keep it coming!

07-18-2006, 11:28 PM
Are you going to OVER paint the underpainting? All of it or just part? I'd say what counts is what shows. UNDERpainting could be anything but if it's all covered up with pastel, it's a pastel, right? I thought the 80% thing was to allow for things like colored pencil tweaks and little touches of other materials where necessary...might well be wrong tho. Why does everything have to be so complicated???

Deborah Secor
07-19-2006, 12:19 AM
I think I remember this issue being raised with the PSA a long time ago, which is where the 80% ruling arose. Some of the artists were underpainting in watercolor and overpainting with pastel (such as Eric Michaels), and entered the PSA For Pastels Only show. They finally decided it was all right as long as the pastel outweighed the underpainting by a considerable percentage--in other words, NOT a watercolor with a touch or two of pastel. I don't think you will have any arguments as long as you are clearly not making an acrylic painting but a pastel painting.


Kathryn Wilson
07-19-2006, 05:57 AM
Dee, Sooz - that is pretty much my take on it - what is on the surface of the painting is what will be judged.

I've been reading a book that shows paintings that combine charcoal and pastel on the surface - it clearly shows the charcoal as an integral part of the painting and that got me to thinking about this.

I've also toyed with the idea of doing an acrylic underpainting, but letting a portion of it still show through.

Ah, well, I can always enter those just in all media shows.

07-19-2006, 08:08 AM
Most artists let their underpainting come thru somewhat..at the PSA show in NYC, I saw a beautiful painting that you could see all the watercolor "runs" thru it, and flowing down the bottom, but it was still a pastel painting. I also took the 80% to mean the topmost and dominant layer to be pastel, and the underpainting to "enhance" ,but not overtake..otherwise, what would be the point of doing it , if you cover it ALL up?
just my 2cents,

Kathryn Wilson
07-19-2006, 08:24 AM
. . . I saw a beautiful painting that you could see all the watercolor "runs" thru it, and flowing down the bottom, but it was still a pastel painting

Just what I am thinking about - :thumbsup: