Studio Management




Pricing Your work

In order to price your art realistically, you must understand and respect how the art business works and how collectors shop and buy. You must step back and objectively evaluate the significance and quality of your art in relation to all other art.

Safety Issues

To protect your lungs, never blow at accumulated pastel dust. Take the work outside or hold it over a newspaper and tap the back to get rid of excess pigment.

  read more  arrow.jpg

Storing Pastel Paintings

Storing pastel paintings layered on a shelf, in a large drawer, in print racks or bristol board folders can be a problem especially when you need to go back through the stack to find a certain piece.   

read more arrow.jpg

Working Clean

Use push pins to attach baby wipes or a damp paper towel, kept in a small plastic bag, to the side of your easel. Reach in to clean your working hand or glove and the bag keeps the wipes from drying out quickly. Use a spray of water to refresh the wipe or towel. 

read more  arrow.jpg


There is no 'hard or soft' rule when it comes to pastels. So why do we misleadingly refer to them all as 'soft' pastels when it's so obvious that some are harder than others?

read more  arrow.jpg

Making new pastels from old

Every pastelist uses their sticks of pastel until they are so tiny they can't be held anymore, but even then we are loath to toss them into the garbage. Instead, create a divided container into which you toss your nub ends, sorting generally by colour (blues, greens, reds and pinks, yellows and oranges etc.) and save them until you have a small stash. 

read more  arrow.jpg

Papers and Substrates

All pastelists have their favourite papers. Of course, an acid-free paper is a must to preserve the image and the stability of the pigment on the surface. As artists we owe that to our customers.

read more  arrow.jpg


The use of fixatives on pastel paintings is a much-debated point among pastelists. Some artists feel that fixatives darken and dull the colors in the painting and therefore will not use them. Others feel that fixatives  used properly avoid that pitfall and further, can be used effectively as a tool to create an impasto effect or to create scumbling textures.

read more  arrow.jpg

Experimenting with materials and techniques

To achieve the airy and light appearance of a watercolour with pastel is fairly easy. Using white paper only, stroke with the broad side of your pastel stick across your paper (break it in half if the stick is too long). Vary the pressure using the darkest values first, lightest values last.

read more  arrow.jpg

Travelling with pastels

When travelling by car, keep a margarine tub filled with small bits of pastel in cornmeal. You can do quick sketches along the way when the moment hits. The cornmeal keeps the pastels clean and safe. As an alternative, use rice.

read more  arrow.jpg

Shipping your work

First, you must decide whether to ship the work framed or unframed. This will help determine what type of packaging to use. The best way to reduce the cost of shipping is to select wrapping material which reduces the total weight.

read more arrow.jpg

Framing and presenting your work to the world

When framing your work, it's best to keep the KISS formula in mind. Even though you may feel at the mercy of a framer who is pushing fancy mats and frames, it's important to remember you are in control.

read more  arrow.jpg


Be professional. Read the Call for Entry carefully and follow the registration instructions completely.   Any of the terms not met can be grounds for rejection.  

read more  arrow.jpg

Slides and Digital Images 

With digital technology fast taking over, slides will soon become a dim memory.  Meanwhile, many of us still have our work recorded on slides.

read more  arrow.jpg

Career Management

Documenting your work: the photography has to be the best possible. The image should be centered, in perfect focus and represent the true colours. There should be nothing in the image area but the painting itself.

read more  arrow.jpg




"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for."

Georgia O'Keeffe 






© Copyright 2013 Pastel Artists.Ca. All rights reserved.

Web & App Development by Chris Klimek      Graphic Design by Aniko Kiss