Some sort of pastel technique was already recognized in European cave paintings, but only about 500 years ago did painters increasingly use the pastel pencil. Ever since then there were times, when great artists tackled this special dry painting technique and left behind important works of art in pastel despite the great sensitivity of the substance. For example, when Max Liebermann settled in a country house in Berlin in the middle of a park of great beauty at the turn of the last century, he became an expert in spontaneously getting a pastel of the rich color of the surrounding nature as well as of family members.
The practical pastel pencil can be used without much fuss. It consists of a firmly pressed paint mash of finest powder. The pencil leaves a loosely sticking layer of paint on the paper depending on the pressure and abrasion. It can be softly spread, painted over with other colors and it can be subtly graded. But it must be fixed repeatedly in order to permanently preserve the splendor of the color. As easy as the selected paints can be applied, the more limited can they be corrected, contrary to oil painting.
It is not surprising that Esteban Fekete discovered pastel painting for himself, since he mainly achieved his transparent picture compositions with delicate layers of paint put on top of each other and who got his reputation mainly thanks to his unique conversion from a painting to subtly graded color wood cuts. Actually, he also achieved impressive art work from this sensitive and demanding medium which he used at first as a painted sketch for the wood cut. Of course the shade of color thereby is more gradual than in a graphic painting. Already in the sixties and until now he also created pastels in their own right, complex, in strong and vivid colors. But contrary to glass painting, they have a naturally matt gleam, tempting one to touch them. In his pastels, his picture themes again appear contemplatively, symbolically and poetic just as they appear in his other techniques. The exhibition of his pastels in the museum of Rossdorf in October 2004 was the last time we could experience this technique.
Conclusion: Esteban Fekte also has become familiar with the demanding pastel painting and achieved mastership in this technique.