Pastel Paintings Finished works of art can be rendered in pastels which are comparable to those done in other media. Though some pastels contain a small amount of chalk to make them abrade more easily, pastel should not be confused with colored chalk. They are made with exactly the same pigment used in making all fine art paints. Powdered pigment, mixed with a little water and a special binder is ground into a paste, rolled into sticks and allowed to dry. The word pastel is derived from pastello, Italian for paste. The softness or hardness of a pastel depends on the nature of the pigment and on how much binder is used, the more glue the harder the stick. Pastels are often used for preliminary sketches which then provide a good reference for larger works of art in oils. To Gallery We call ourselves artists. Nobody says you are or you are not.     Reinhardt 1913-1967