The pastels of Jordan Belson are the most extensive body of artworks in this oeuvre, numbering in the several hundreds. They begin circa 1990 and continue until his death in 2011. Belson told an interviewer that the pastels began when he was unhappy with film stills of his movies as reproduced in scholarly or promotional contexts,
and he therefore decided to create his own stills—depictions and evocations of crucial moments in his films.
Belson frequently worked in a theme-and-variation mode, creating highly varied versions of a favorite diagram
or motif, almost always of his own invention. On rare occasions he borrowed background images from Hubble telescope photos, electrostatic imaging, or electron microscopy, usually taken from popular science journals.
The base or ground of these works are sometimes black and white or color xerography which he made himself
at copy shops; other times they begin as inkjet prints on fine papers such as Rives or Arches. Sennelier pastels and Derwent pastel pencils were used in addition to other brands — often worked with his fingers. We refer to these works as "pastels" because in every case they embody the essence of that medium.