HISTORY OF PASTEL PAINTING
The word pastel comes from the Italian word pasta – dough or pasta. The pastel is colored crayons from a finely ground mixture of a coloring pigment, chalk or a special type of clay and a gum arabic binder.
Pastel occupies an intermediate position between painting and drawing. From a technological point of view, pastel is a graphic, and by its expressive capabilities, pastel can be attributed to painting.
Pastel crayons, consisting of dry colorful pigment bonded with acacia resin (gum arabic), was invented at the end of the 15th century by French artist Jean Perreal for quick sketches of the military company of Louis XI.
The artist introduced the new technique to Leonardo da Vinci, who named the new technique colorire a secco (dry painting) and used it in a sketch for a portrait of Isabella d’Este Mantua (1499).
At the beginning of the XVI century, pastel took a strong place in European art life. At this time, a French pencil portrait was very popular, performed from nature with black chalk, sanguine and pastel in one or two sessions. The Italians called this combination of art materials a pastello.
The pastel technique reached its peak in the 18th century. In 1663, pastel technique received official recognition and equal rights with painting, when Dumustier was accepted as the first recognized pastel artist to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. In 1698, the French portrait painter Joseph Vivienne, a popularizer of pastel technique, was accepted into the Academy. The French Salon of 1704 showed twenty portraits of life-size pastel by the artist Joseph Vivienne. The success of the exhibition influenced the rapid growth of the popularity of this technique. The flourishing of pastel painting in France was also facilitated by the arrival in Paris in 1720 of the famous Venetian pastel artist Rosalba Carriere (1675-1757), who became a portrait painter of the French royal family. Rosalba Carriere is the first artist working only in pastel technique.
In Russia, this technique became known in the middle of the 18th century, first in the form of a collection of works by European masters, and then became widespread only in the chamber portrait genre. At the end of the 19th century, pastels were gradually replaced by other graphic techniques, in particular, the popularity of sauce was growing. With the advent of the aesthetics of Art Nouveau and Symbolism in the art of Russia at the end of the 19th century, pastel became popular again. In Soviet times, little attention was paid to pastels, priority was given to learning how to work with soft materials (sanguine, sauce, charcoal, chalk). The departure from the pastel was explained by the bourgeoisie of technology, the mismatch of its expressive means to the needs of the people.
Currently, pastelist artists’ societies exist all over the world and they are united in the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS).
PASTEL PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY
From the moment of its appearance and until about the end of the 18th century, artists made pastels by hand. The pastel was made from a doughy mass moistened with water from a colorful pigment, a small amount of a binder and a mineral filler. The resulting mass was pressed, cut into sticks and dried.
Despite the five hundred year history, the technology of pastel production has not changed much, since then the color range has greatly increased – now the pastel has more than 1,500 shades. Almost all operations for the production of this material are carried out manually. The quality of the pastel is determined by the fineness of the pigment grinding and the thoroughness of the mixing of coloring substances with binders. Pastel is baked in special iron furnaces for drying at a temperature of 60 ° to 80 °.
SECRETS OF PASTEL EQUIPMENT
For the basis of pastels use torshon, sandpaper, loose or fleecy cardboard, suede, parchment, canvas. Reading in a boudoir. Delfin Anjolra
Poorly selected base materials make it difficult to work on a painting or make it short-lived.
Try to avoid extremes in choosing a paper color – a gray sheet is suitable for almost any task.
Oil pastels can be drawn using the alla prima technique, previously coating the base with thinner.
Pastel touches are rubbed with fingers, a palm, special feathering, leather rollers, silk square brush brushes, soft tampons and even paper towels (for large areas).
Masterfully mastering the technique of rubbing pastels, you can achieve photorealistic image accuracy. Rosalba Carriere and Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin rubbed pastels, but for expressiveness they left undisturbed areas in the works.
You can hatch the pastel in various directions, direct as with the “Blue Dancers” Degas or arched strokes. Strokes can be crossed at different angles or applied parallel to each other.
Pastel combines the possibilities of painting and drawing. She can draw or write, work with hatching or a painting spot, with a dry or wet brush.
Edgar Degas dissolved the pastel with hot water and applied it with a hard brush to the canvas in combination with dry hull strokes.