About Portraits in Pastel
Pastel pigment is the same pigment used in making all fine art paints. It is NOT colored chalk! It is the most permanent of all media, when applied to conservation ground and properly framed. Pastel has no liquid binder that may cause other media to darken, fade, yellow, crack or blister with time. Pastels from the 16th century exist today, as fresh the day they were painted. No restoration needed, ever! Primarily, my pastel paintings (and they are referred to as paintings) are created using Rembrandt Pastels on Canson Mi-Teintes Paper.
The selection of the medium is completely personal, and depends on what the buyer wants. Expense factors into this as does the look that the buyer is after. All things being equal, a pastel portrait tends to be in the mid-range of expense between the less expensive charcoal portrait and the more expensive oil portrait. A pastel portrait uses a full palette of color as in oil. Pastel is pure pigment pressed together into sticks without the use of a binding agent. The pigment is applied directly from the sticks onto paper and allows for a wide range of application. It requires the use of archival paper and proper matting and framing behind glass, similar to a charcoal portrait, in order to preserve the piece.