Today has been quite hot here in Madrid, so instead of going to the painting table to work on watercolours I decided to relax a bit at the balcony and doodle a bit, somehow it looked like the perfect chance to try the Nupastels at last so instead of the sketchbook and pencil I've grabbed a box with some of them, a paper and an old cotton rag, and started doodling just for fun.
-They are surprisingly soft for a pastel that is called "hard" but it's indeed harder than the usual pastels, added to their thin and squared shape they allow a great control, I like that :)
-It is true that there's only an amount of pastel the paper will take but I find it easier to control the amount of pigment you use, they are very versatile, you can go from superwide strokes to thin lines made with a corner without effort, from soft touch to intense color, in just one stroke, this makes really easy to not overwork it and even let the grain of the paper show through for as long as you want to.
- They don't feel like chalk at all!
-They blend so easily and yet it's easy too to cleanly cover a previous color with a new one as if the other wasn't there, I guess that could not be so if the area were quite overworked already but I didn't get to that extent, in my mummy I found no trouble putting a clean soft pink over a couple of layers of deep gray and dark blue.
-Dust, this is the thing that you won't get rid of no matter how hard the pastel is, but that's the great thing about using them out of the house, you can just blow it away and let the wind do the rest :)
Now that I've made one test I want to try some more things with them, one is try them on a paper without grain (nupastels have beaten the panpastels without mercy this time but no grain maybe provide a more balanced battleground) but the most important one is trying different ways of lifting it so you won't get to overwork the paper unless you go too far, not knowing too much about working with pastels I want to try to lift them with some kind of brush, smudging with a cloth will get rid of some of the pigment but will mostly blend and smudge it into the paper texture (already tried that today), but maybe the bristles of a brush get more pastel off the paper, also I want to try using masking tape, the pigment should stick to it and be completely lifted right? so my bet right now is:
cloth: more blending than lifting
brush: more lifting than blending
tape: no blending at all and some lifting
I can't wait to try this theory :). So...what else can I try? sugestions? have you done any experimenting with these?
Oh, and now that the mummy is done I'm looking at the pastel fixative spray bottle in disbelief, there's no way any fixative can really seal this, is there? nah!
13 hours ago