Welcome to Pastel Society of Tampa Bay
Our mission is to educate the artist and the public about pastel painting
while promoting interest and enjoyment of the medium. We encourage artistic
growth through education and sharing.
What is Pastel?
For those of you who are new to pastel, pastel is a medium that is made from
raw pigment mixed with a binding agent that is then formed into sticks. These
sticks can be cylindrical, square, rectangular, long or short. Their texture can
vary from extremely soft and velvety to hard and very dense, depending on the
pigment and binder combinations used. There are hundreds of colors of pastel
sticks and dozens of manufacturers to choose from.
Because pastels often look similar to a piece of chalk, some people refer to
pastel artworks as "chalk drawings". This is a misrepresentation.
Pastels are not the same as the simple colored chalks used on sidewalks and
blackboards. Depending on the brand of pastel, they are made from the same fine
quality pigments that are used in fine oil paint, but are mixed with a solid
versus a liquid binder. They are rich with pure color.
Pastel can be used as a drawing OR a painting medium! The artist can
emphasize either crisp detail with varying thicknesses of lines or apply the
pastels with broad, painterly strokes. Pastel is also water soluble and can also
be applied as washes of pigment applied with a brush. Almost infinite
combinations of strokes, direct color, and blending effects are possible.
Pastel requires no additional painting mediums or surface varnishes and no
drying time. Dust and lint won't stick to the surface as it can on oil or
acrylic painting. Unlike oil or acrylic paintings, an artwork done in pastel
won't crack, yellow, or form a distracting glossy glare. It is a uniquely opaque
medium that reflects light from the surface, so pastel paintings can appear to
almost glow from their own rich, dense color surfaces. If a pastel work is done
on a quality surface and properly framed, it can last just as long as an oil
What We Do
Each year we sponsor a juried and judged show with awards, Possibilities
in Pastel. In addition, as the opportunity presents itself, the group
exhibits in other venues around the Tampa Bay area. The goal of our meetings is
to share useful information about the use of pastel and art in general. We also
sponsor a plein air paint day for those who enjoy painting the Florida
landscape. See our "Activities
and Show" page for details.
Our yearly show, "Possibilities in Pastel X", will be held at the Stirling Gallery and Studios, Dunedin, FL, during February 2016 with judge Deborah
Stewart. Click here for the Prospectus for the show.
We are a member in good standing with the
International Association of Pastel Societies