Master Facts: Learning from Degas

After the Bath, woman drying herself by Edgar Degas

Degas was a brilliant innovator when it came to Pastels. He pioneered a number of techniques in the media including spraying pastel work with boiling water. This turned the pure pastel into a paste that he could then work into with a brush. In paste form, it was unlikely to smudge or be brushed away so acted as a fixative allowing for subsequent pastel layers to be applied.