The Power of Pastel Colours: The Persistence of Memory. Pastel /pa’stɛl:/ – the etymology of the word comes from “pasta” (paste) ■ m. s. 1. [dyestuff, colouring matter] ≈ (com.) hue, coloured pencil. 2. (decorative art) [drawing technique consisting in rubbing colour on paper] ≈ acquarello (to paint in water-colours), gouache, tempera. ■ adj. (invar.) [colour with a light tonality ≈ delicate, soft].
a. Colouring stuff, moulded upon a dried-up barrel pattern, consisting of a colour-paste reduced to powder (pigment), water, a percentage of arabic or astragalus gum (i.e. some agglutinant substances used like adhesive, glue), a variable quantity of chalk mixed to the pigment to improve in the colouring combination.
b. Special painting technique (pittura a pastello = to draw in pastel), established in XVIII century, i.e. to rub the paste barrel on a previously prepared paper or spread it with fingers. c. Adj. (invar.), after the colour-names show a soft shaded tonality; a slight or light hue.
Pale blue, light blue, sky blue, straw yellow, light yellow, canary yellow, butter yellow, mint green, light green, light turquoise, light orange, peach, apricot, tangerine, light pink, pale pink, rose, pearl gray, pale brown, tan, beige, buff, desert sand, ecru, rose taupe, simply and desert taupe or ivory, as well as the famous radiant orchid: the pastel palette belongs to all those gradients coming from a pure primary (cyan, magenta, yellow) or a secondary colour (orange, purple, green) with the addition of pure white, or a high percentage of pure yellow (i.e. without white); as well, from a very diluted pure/secondary colour solution.