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.
A painter & decorator is responsible for preparing a surface and applying a range of finishes to it in response to the particular specifications of a job, paying close attention to detail to create a quality end product. The specific role of the painter & decorator is to prepare and decorate a particular surface in accordance with the wishes of the client. This will involve working on a wide variety of surfaces, including metal, wood, plaster and stone, and incorporating numerous materials, such as paint, varnish and wallpaper. The jobs involved depend upon the area that the painter & decorator works in. This can range from the industrial, specially-trained worker supplying skills for a large company, to the part-time, self-employed worker complementing a pension. A lot of the roles of the painter & decorator will come somewhere in between. If working for a larger construction firm, work can include more industrial-scale jobs, such as working as part of a team to prepare and paint the interior of a building or office. This will often involve specialist industrial techniques and larger equipment. If self-employed, this will normally include working independently on smaller jobs such as decorating private houses, schools, shops and other local buildings.
Painting is an important form in the visual arts, bringing in elements such as drawing, gesture (as in gestural painting), composition, narration (as in narrative art), or abstraction (as in abstract art). Paintings can be naturalistic and representational (as in a still life or landscape painting), photographic, abstract, narrative, symbolistic (as in Symbolist art), emotive (as in Expressionism), or political in nature (as in Artivism).