Pastel Paintings

Payment options

  • Full payment is not required before the start of the portrait. However, the artist does require a non-refundable deposit of 25% of the portrait price (including framing) in advance.
  • To ease international sales, prices for commissions are in USD Dollars. Payments can be made by PayPal, eInterac bank transfer, check, money order or cash (locals from the Ottawa-Gatineau area only). Cheques and money orders should be made payable to Erika Farkas.
  • The currency exchange rate can be checked with XE Currency Converter's Live Rates. If you are paying by PayPal, those exchange rates are automatically calculated by PayPal. If you a paying by all other options, you can pay the amount converted from XE Currency Converter at the above link.

Pay safely with PayPal for your COMMISSION!
No need to have or create a PayPal account if paying by credit card.

Enter the USD price of your commission deposit or balance in the PayPal Price per Item box.
Not sure how much is the amount due? Contact the artist.

The pastel painting

  • The portrait will be a realistic representation of a human being or animal from a photograph that you supply.
  • Only the best professional quality paper such as Clairefontainte Pastelmat will be used, which is an acid-free reinforced paper specifically designed for works in pastel.
  • High quality pastel sticks and pencils (for fine details) will be used for the painting
  • Note that pastels drawings are considered paintings if the artwork covers the entire surface
  • The portrait background can be one colour of multicolour, depending how you would prefer. Detailed background is possible at extra charge.
  • A proof image file of the almost finished painting will be emailed to you for approval. At that time, you may ask for changes or re-touches.
  • You may ask for unlimited number of re-touches to the drawing until it meets your satisfaction
  • You can only order the painting framed. The pastel on the paper can smudge if touched, and therefore all pastel works need to be protected by glass and framed.
For custom sizes and preferences, please complete the form to get a quote. GET A QUOTE

Your Photograph

Your photograph in digital format (JPG, GIF, PNG) must be as high-resolution as possible, at least 1000 pixels on the long side, with the features of the face well visible. If you don't have a scanned image of your photograph, you may mail me the photo itself through the postal service. I reserve the right not to accept a commission where a poor-quality photograph has been supplied.

The photograph must either have been taken by yourself or you must have been given permission from its creator to use it.


  • Word-wide shipping will be done through Canada Post services
  • Paintings will be mailed in a box. Shipping charges will be extra.

If you would like a quote on how much the shipping would cost, fill out all the address fields in the form. GET A QUOTE

What exactly are pastels?

The name "pastel" comes from the French word "pastiche" which means "mixture" or "jumble". Pastels are pure powdered pigment, mixed with a special binder, ground into a paste, rolled into a stick and allowed to dry. Because there is virtually nothing in the sticks but pure pigment, if painted on a proper surface, it is the most permanent of all mediums and will remain unchanged for generations. Many pastels painted 250-300 years ago look as fresh as though they had been painted within the last five years. There is no yellowing or cracking to be concerned with and pastels rarely require restoration often required of oil paintings.

More about pastels

Renderings in pastel, dating back to 15,000 B.C., can be found in caves in France and Spain. The contemporary pastel movement was begun by Rosalba Carriera in the late 1600s and she was followed by artists such as Chardin, La Tour, Millet, Manet, Degas, Cassatt, Renoir, Lautrec, Gaugin, and Whistler. When Van Gogh saw some of Millet's pastels in an exhibition in 1875, he wrote to his brother Theo, "When I entered the hall where they were exhibited, I felt like saying, 'Take off your shoes, for the place where you are standing is Holy Ground."

The permanence of the medium helps pastel paintings hold their value. One of Millet's pastels, "Woodcutter and his Wife Preparing Fagots" (19 1/4 x 13 1/2), executed between 1865 and 1870, was recently valued by Sotheby's at $300,000 - $400,000. In 1988, Sotheby's sold a Degas pastel for $7,500,000! And recently, Edward Munch's "The Scream" sold for almost $120 million to a private buyer, the highest nominal price paid to date for a painting at auction.

This history and conservation information is interesting and valuable for collectors and conservators. It is drawing, painting, and sculpting rolled into one exciting experience. The microscopic flecks of pigment--the glorious, intensely staining dust--act like prisms. They imbed on the surface, rather than sinking in, and as such, they bounce reflected light and color in a hundred different directions, exhibiting both subtlety and brilliance, unmatched in any other medium.

(Source from Mary Aslin Art)