Pastel is a painting medium in the form of a stick, consisting of pure powdered pigment and a binder. The pigments used in pastels are the same as those used to produce all colored art media, including oil paints. The color effect of pastels is closer to the natural dry pigments than that of any other process and is made with permanent pigments.
When properly framed and cared for, a pastel painting may endure unchanged for centuries. Pastels are not susceptible, as are paintings made with a fluid medium, to the cracking and discoloration that result from changes in the color, opacity, or shrinkage of the medium as it dries.