pastel - Pigments mixed with gum and water, and pressed into a dried stick form for use as crayons. Works of art done with such pigments are also called pastels.
Chalk is similar to pastel, but more tightly bound.
A picture made with pastels may be called either a drawing or a painting. The principal reason to call it one or the other has nothing to do with whether it has ever been wet. It has entirely to do with whether the resulting image is more linear or more painterly — showing shapes or forms created with patches of color, exploiting color and tonal relationships.
The term "pastel" has been used by some to mean tints or pale colors — soft colors, lightened with white — having little saturation and great lightness. (Brilliant colors, although they too are very light in value, are strongly saturated.) Pastel was first used in this sense by American fashion writers in 1899. The use of "pastel" in this sense might be understood in context, but art writers are generally wise to avoid using it in order to avoid confusing their readers.
Jean-Étienne Liotard (Swiss, 1702-1789), Portrait of Maria Frederike van Reede-Athlone at Seven Years of Age, 1755-1756, pastel on vellum, 22 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches (57.2 x 47 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. See portrait.
John Singleton Copley (American, 1738-1815), Hugh Hall, 1758, pastel on paper mounted on canvas, 15 1/2 x 13 inches (39.4 x 33 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Edgar Degas (born Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas) (French, 1834-1917), Ballet Rehearsal, 1875, gouache and pastel on canvas, 21 3/4 x 27inches, George G. Frelinghuysen Collection, NY. Also see dance and Impressionism.
Edgar Degas, La Lecon de Danse (The Dancing Lesson), c. 1877, pastel over monoprint on paper, 23 x 28 5/8 inches, Portland Art Museum, ME.
Edgar Degas, Singer with a Glove, c. 1878, pastel and liquid medium on canvas, 20 3/4 x 16 inches (52.8 x 41.1 cm), Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Edgar Degas, At the Milliner's, c. 1882, pastel on paper, 27 5/8 x 27 3/4 inches, (70.2 x 70.5 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Edgar Degas, Dancers, c. 1896, pastel on paper, Cleveland Museum of Art.
Edgar Degas, Three Ballet Dancers, One with Dark Crimson Waist, 1899, pastel on paper, 23 1/4 x 19 1/4 inches, Barnes Foundation.
Odilon Redon (French, 1840-1916), Madame Arthur Fontaine (Marie Escudier), 1901, pastel on paper, 28 1/2 x 22 1/2 inches (72.4 x 57.2 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See Symbolism.
Odilon Redon, Roger and Angelica, c. 1910, pastel on paper, 36 1/2 x 28 3/4 inches (92.7 x 73 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Berthe Morisot (French, 1841-1895), A Village (the village of Maurecourt), pastel on paper, 18 1/2 x 28 1/4 inches (47 x 72 cm), private collection, New York.
Mary Cassatt (American, 1845-1926), Agatha and Her Child, 1891, pastel on paper, 26 x 21 inches (66.1 x 53.3 cm), Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH. See American Impressionism.
Mary Cassatt, Baby's First Caress, 1891, pastel on paper, New Britain Museum of Art, CT.
William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916), The White Rose, c. 1886, pastel on paper on canvas, Phoenix Art Museum, AZ. See Ten American Painters.
Natalya S. Goncharova (Russian, 1881-1962), Rayonist Composition, c. 1912-3, pastel on paper, 31.8 x 21.6 cm, Tate Gallery, London. See Rayonism.
Max Weber (American, born Russia, 1881-1961), Slide Lecture at the Metropolitan Museum, 1916, pastel on paper, 24 1/2 x 18 3/4 inches (62.2 x 47.5 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986), A Storm, 1922, pastel on paper, mounted on illustration board, 18 1/4 x 24 3/8 inches (46.4 x 61.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See feminism and feminist art.
Georgia O'Keefe, Pink Shell with Seaweed, c. 1937, 22 x 28 inches, pastel on paper, San Diego Museum of Art, CA. See enlargement, nature, and volute.
Paul Cadmus (1904-1999), Male Nude, c. 1960s, pastel on paper, 14 x 23 3/4 inches, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art & Design, Kansas City, MO. See nude.
Paula Rego (Portuguese, lives and works in England, 1935-), Recreation, 1996, pastel on paper mounted on aluminum, 66 7/8 x 51 1/4 inches, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO.
Ed Ruscha (American, 1937-), Purely Polyester, 1977, pastel on paper, 23 x 29 inches, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO. See text.
Also see charcoal, conté crayon, dark, oil pastel, sketch, study, stump, and torchon.