And then there are those if us who apply the pastel dust with a brush...bridging the two terms nicely...


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From: Patricia Savage <[log in to unmask]>
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Date: Wed, 07 Sep 2011 16:12:07 
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Subject: Re: [SCIART] Painting Versus Painting

I think the official museum take is that a pastel is a drawing. I think 
the official pasatelist take is that a pastel, when used to fully render 
a subject, is a painting. Maybe they will catch up to us! hee-hee!

What do the colored pencilists say? They render color in a line, which 
Webster defines as a drawing, but their finished work looks like a painting.


Patricia Savage

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On 9/7/11 4:00 PM, Kathleen Garness wrote:
> And also 'muddying' the conversation a bit is remembering that not all 
> pastels are chalk-based, that there are oil pastels also. ; ) And 
> those can be marvelously thinned and slurped over the support like a 
> watercolor if so desired. So then do you call it a 'drawing'? Or a 
> painting? And is the application process itself in that case called 
> 'painting' or 'drawing'?
> I have always tried to avoid the 'paint' versus 'draw' discussion by 
> saying that I 'work' in pastels (and watercolor, and digital, but 
> that's beside the point ; )). A finished piece is either a drawing (if 
> it's a sketch, showing mostly linework) or a painting, if it's full 
> color and fully rendered. But that's just my bias.
> And where along the paint/draw continuum are the fully-rendered 
> sketchbook artworks we do? Is that 'drawing' or 'painting' or 
> something else entirely? : )
> At the Art Institute of Chicago, they have their pastels in the 
> "Prints and Drawings" division, if that's any help to this at all. 
> Perhaps other museums have different practices?
> Maybe I will email my bud CJBeck and ask him what he thinks. : ) He 
> does wonderful pastel figurative work.
> Kathy G
> On Sep 7, 2011, at 2:27 PM, Patricia Savage wrote:
>> Wow! This is a nice thread to come back to!
>> When I first learned how to "paint" with pastels in college, it was 
>> called "drawing". Over the last upteen years (ahem!), pastelists now 
>> tend to refer to sketching in pastel as drawing because you are doing 
>> more line work than painting and a full fledged piece of artwork as a 
>> painting. I believe that there are some artists who learned that 
>> "painting" can *only* be done with a brush or anything that comes 
>> from a tube and that anything else is a drawing. Many, many 
>> pastelists don't apply pastels as a line, they only use the side and 
>> apply the paint in a broad sweep.
>> I think that for many pastelists, that painting is "the process, art, 
>> or occupation of coating surfaces with paint for ...artistic effect" 
>> (Webster). Laying down pastel colors for me anyway, is no different 
>> than what I do colorwise in oils or watercolor. The biggest 
>> differences are that I mix my pigments on the surface rather than on 
>> a palette and I'm dealing with chalk and not something liquid (which 
>> is what paint is).
>> We pastelists regularly call our finished work a "painting". Whether 
>> this is technically correct or not, we say paints when we refer to 
>> our sticks, but this would be confusing to someone who does not paint 
>> in pastels and is used to paints meaning something from a tube.
>> I guess, since for me having painted in pastels and talked to 
>> pastelists for so long that the terminology is no longer new, I am 
>> wondering at what point in the text does it sound confusing? I went 
>> through the text again and need to see it through your eyes. I guess 
>> that part you can send to me off-list.
>> Cheers,
>> Patricia Savage
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