From Italian pasta (dough). A painting and drawing technique that employs colours made from pigment powder, water and a sticky solution. The components are first mixed together and then pressed into sticks. Rough materials such as cardboard, paper, parchment and canvas are used as a picture carrier. Colours can be applied in lines or rubbed on with a finger, which has a rather picturesque effect. The surface of a pastel painting is highly sensitive as the colour pigments can easily fall off. To prevent this, various fixing agents are used, however, with the disadvantage of dampening the colours brightness. Museums therefore try to protect pastel paintings with glass screens.