View Full Version : Pastel or Mix Media

06-26-2009, 04:53 PM
Ok, you do a watercolor or acrylic underpainting and then do the pastel painting over it. Should you call it a pastel painting or a mix media painting. I had heard that if its 85% pastel, then its a pastel painting. Then I see someone like Sally Strand say that her paintings are mix media. Maybe she is using something that I cannot identify but by looking at the paintings, they look like pastels. What are your thoughts on this subject? Thanks for the advise. James

06-26-2009, 05:12 PM
Most shows that I am aware of stipulate an 80% pastel guideline, so if you cover 80% of the underpainting with pastel, its considered a pastel for show purposes. If for some reason you want to call it, or categorize it as, mixed media, then it seems to qualify for that, too!


Deborah Secor
06-26-2009, 07:19 PM
I agree with Don.

The clearest definition I've seen of a pastel painting with an underpainting is: you can cover 100% of the paper with another medium like watercolor, as long as you then cover at least 80% of the paper with pastel.

Perhaps Sally's paintings are not 80% or more... or it's just a simple choice on her part.


Donna A
06-28-2009, 05:40 PM
And I thoroughly agree with Don and Deborah!

Artists have used all manner of underpainting materials---from a fully-developed charcoal drawing; washes in watercolor, acrylic or oil; light paintings in WC or acrylic; as well as underpaintings in pastel, some wet and 'washed' or brushed in with alcohol, gamsol (or other thinner) or water---or simply rubbed in. And some folks make great use of colored paper, letting various amounts of it show through. Best wishes!!! Donna ;-}