Soft Pastels / Beginner Info and What to Buy
There are so many different brands of soft pastels that it can get overwhelming when starting out.
Below is a link to my Amazon Shop where I provide my suggested basics for soft pastel painting. Click the lower right corner of each picture icon to read my comments on each product.
About Pastel Paintings & Framing Tips:
Unlike paint applied on canvas, pastel paintings are more delicate to handle. Yet, in spite of their delicacy, pastel art is some of the most brilliant and longest lasting of any medium. The vibrant colors are less susceptible to damage by light, and don’t fade like oils, which sometimes yellow with age.
1. If your painting came in a protective plastic resealable bag, it is best to keep it in the bag until framed. It is advised to allow your framer to remove the painting, but if you are framing yourself you may remove the painting by gently taking it out of the bag being careful not to rub it against the sides. You may also cut the bag off to remove it.
2. It is important not to touch the surface and to keep it protected under glass for long-term enjoyment. If your framer asks about “fixing” the painting tell them NO! While some artist "fix" their paintings with a spray fixative to avoid the colors being rubbed off, there is no need to fix your painting, as it may darken or change the colors of the painting.
3. Pastel Paintings can be framed with or without a mat.
With a Mat:
The matting acts as a barrier to the glass actually touching the painting. However, it is advised to use a “reverse bevel” for the mat, which is nothing more than flipping it over to the opposite side. This way if any pastel dust falls (this is usually very minor), it will fall behind the mat rather than in front. A good framer will know what this means.
Without a Mat:
I prefer to frame my own paintings without a mat to enjoy the painting alone with no distractions.
With this method “spacers” are needed to keep the painting away from the glass. Again, a good framer will know exactly how to do this.
4. NEVER hang any original art piece in a location where it will receive strong light or direct sunlight.
With proper care your pastel painting will last through many generations and will hopefully be an heirloom to bless many others.
HELPFUL INFO FROM DAKOTA PASTELS: