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 binder is of a neutral hue and low saturation. The color effect of pastels is closer to the natural dry pigments than that of any other process. Because the surface of a pastel painting is fragile and easily smudged, its preservation requires protective measures such as framing under glass; it may also be sprayed with a fixative. Nonetheless, when made with permanent pigments and properly 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 dimensions of the medium as it dries.
Painters and paperhangers stand for prolonged periods. Their jobs also require a considerable amount of climbing, bending, kneeling, crouching, crawling and reaching with arms raised overhead often on scaffolding, ladders, and working at heights. Painters often work outdoors but seldom in wet, cold or inclement weather. Painters wear masks to reduce exposure to hazardous materials or paint fumes when working in areas with poor ventilation. Much of the work is done alone requiring independent thinking, safety awareness and ability to communicate with the customer. Special equipment is often used; such as equipment for welding, for use while scaffolding, on booms and lifts.
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