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making pastels

what binder to use

Use the table to work out which binder to use. If you are using a new pigment, try making a small quantity of test pastels first. If the binder is too strong they will be too hard. To avoid wasting the materials, grind them up in a pestle and mortar, add the same quantity of pigment and mix with water. Conversely, if they are too soft, grind them and mix them with binder.

PigmentBinder
Base (chalk, kaolin etc)Medium
Whites (titanium, zinc)Medium
Yellow ochreWeak
Burnt SiennaMedium
Burnt UmberWater
Cadmiums (red, yellow)Medium
Alizarin crimsonStrong
Pthalo greenWeak
Oxide of chromiumMedium
Prussian blueMedium
Ultramarine blueMedium
Lake coloursWeak