Re: FOCUS GROUP: Pastels
The grittiness has to do with the pigments used. Generally, the binder used in student grade pastels will have things like kaolin clay which can have hard bits. Better pastels, like Sennelier, will have hard colors due to the pigment itself. When it's the actual pigment that is gritty, then that is just the nature of the pigment and not much can be done except look for another color that has a feel you prefer. Further grinding may make a color smoother and softer, but some colors (some mineral colors and earths particularly come to mind) will lose their luminosity if ground too fine. The facets of the microscopic particles give it it's beauty which you give up in excessive grinding. You will find in most brands which use real pigments and not synthetics, that there is some degree of variation in consistency. So consistency may make it easier or make it feel nicer but it doesn't mean they're better and it often means quite the opposite.
I also have to agree about categorizing pastels as a painting medium and not a drawing medium. Professional pastelists usually consider completed works to be paintings.
Last edited by LoveFaces : 10-18-2008 at 03:49 PM.