Addicted. That’s how I’ve often heard us soft pastellists described.

How about obsessed?

And then there’s hooked.

Or what about possessed? Consumed? Bewitched? In the grip of?

As negative as these words are, hands up if any of these do indeed describe you.

After all, we are passionate about soft pastels.

Some of us eat, sleep, and breathe pastels. Well not literally but certainly figuratively!

So what explains this love affair of ours? What are the aspects we love about soft pastels?

 

Assorted soft pastels in my plein air box
Assorted soft pastels in my plein air box

 

Have a read through a few of the many responses I received to that question in my Howtopastel Facebook group:

 

“It’s their jewel colours.” ~ Christine L

No need to stop to mix up more colours and break my artistic train of thought. I hated that stopping and starting business [in paint]!” ~ Marilee M

Immediate colour.” ~ Angi H

“The tactile feel of them. I love that one mark can change everything.” ~ Becky C

No drying time. And no colour change.” ~ Gisela L

“The intensity of the colour – pure pigment.” ~ Judith P

“How fast I can set up and take down when painting en plein air.” ~ Mary P

“The combination of the feel and sound of the sticks on sanded paper, that you can ‘hear’ the mark as it’s made.” ~ Lyn A

They forgive!” ~ Elaine B

“I can create quickly…and change my mind without a mess.” ~ Melissa O

“What’s not to love? I love everything about them.” ~ Lynda R

Let me count the ways.” ~ Lorenzo C

 

Do I hear an amen? Are you nodding in agreement?

I’ve been a fervent user since 1992. While at university, a friend gave me a small box of Rembrandt soft pastels he wasn’t using. After years of moving apartments, I finally opened it. Ohhhhhh those colours! So out they came and despite not having very good paper, and not having a clue what I was doing, like so many others, I fell head-over-heels in love.

My love affair continues to this day and the love just grows deeper. I adore the vibrancy, the portability, the linear and painterly nature of the medium, the immediacy. And I want (need?) to spread the word about this amazing medium. So along with my own blog, HowToPastel, I’ll be writing, editing, and curating this newsletter, Pastel Today. I’m looking forward to sharing information and inspiration with you!

Whether you’re a pastel lover just starting out or if you’re well into your artistic journey, I encourage you to subscribe so you don’t miss anything. You’ll find Pastel Today drop into your inbox every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And do feel free to forward the Pastel Today newsletter to your friends.

Ciao, Gail

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