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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Challenge: Use ONLY Nupastels!

        'Winter Comes Softly'                 8x10                 pastel                 ©Karen Margulis      $255 on Etsy

I have box lids filled with Nupastels in various states of use. I tend to use them at the end stage of a painting especially those with a lot of grass and weeds! But I do also use harder pastels such as Nupastels for wet underpaintings. Hard pastels don't fill the tooth of the paper as quickly as the softer pastels and don't get gummy when wet.

Last week I was doing an alcohol wash underpainting with Nupastels when it occurred to me that it would be a fun challenge to keep using the Nupastels for the entire painting. I know there are many artists who do this but I tend to want the softer pastels to give me more variety and thicker marks. Would I be frustrated with just the Nupastels?

After a successful start and a few additional layers I was tempted to end the challenge. I wanted to grab my softer pastels for the snow. But I persisted. I just pressed much harder when it came to painting the thicker snow drifts. In the end I was able to stick with the challenge and I liked it so much that I painted three more winter scenes with Nupastels only!

Will I retire my softer pastels? No! But it is great to know that it is possible to have success with the less expensive harder pastels.  Note that I used LuxArchival sanded paper which is a dream! I need to now expand my challenge to Nupastels on Canson unsanded paper!

                                        a selection of Nupastels that I used for this painting      

The painting after the first layer and an alcohol wash

Join us over on Patreon for more on using hard pastels!                                  


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