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The word “PASTEL” comes from the paste made of pure, powdered color pigment, bound
together with a minimum of resin or gum, and molded into stick form.
If this same powdered color pigment were bound with an oil medium,
it would be oil paint. Because pastel sticks are formed with a
minimum of resin or binder, usually just enough to hold the stick
together, it is generally the most pure form of pigment that can be
applied to a painting surface (generally paper) giving pastel
paintings a vivid, luminous appearance.