Pastel is pure powdered pigment, rolled into stick
form and held together with a binder. The pigments used in pastels
are the same pigments used to produce oil paints and all other colored
Typically the surface used is toned or colored paper but other
surfaces such as canvas and sanded boards are also popular. A pastel
is considered a painting when the entire surface is covered; a drawing
or sketch when much of the background is exposed or left untouched.
When protected with fixative and framed under glass, pastel is
considered more permanent than oils and other media because it never
darkens, yellows, or cracks.