A new love for nupastels (see what I did there). I didn’t used to know nupastels (by Prismacolor) existed, and when I did discover them, I assumed they were another name for soft pastels since they were similar in my eyes. I then realized that’s where I was wrong… nupastels do not erase nearly as easily as soft pastels (which is really annoying for someone like me who has been a pencil girl all my life rather than a pen person since I always like to have the availability to erase if needed). Nupastels also don’t blend as well, which makes sense now looking back on things since nupastels are hard pastels. Both mediums are chalk-like on the surface, but nupastels are more permanent, at least without spray.

I’ve found nupastels to be perfect for sketching because when sketching, mistakes don’t matter too much. I get to be more free and risky (now I say risky because I still have those pencil loving girl tendencies to want to erase and nupastels don’t allow for that). Lately, when I sketch, I’ve been doing more outlines or big picture drawings rather than shading and detailed drawings, which once again I think the nupastels work really well for. Julien Benhamou is a french photographer whose work I’ve been basing my sketches off of lately. I am very fond of his Nus Portrait collection. I like the way the light is hitting the figures and more importantly their poses are just so unique and aesthetically pleasing, which is why I wanted to sketch them; the composition of the photographs are beautiful. I believe “nus” is the french equivalent to nude or naked in the English language therefore photographs of this collection are of nude of semi nude figures. I personally feel this is the best way to practice figures, just as we did in figure drawing class. In figure drawing class, one has nude models, but in the real world of a college art student nude models are not readily available, which is another reason these photographs were so perfect to be sketched. The figures pose in all sorts of angles, and I can only learn to draw from those angles if I practice. Julien Benhamou’s photographs are the inspiration and motivation to get me to practice.

I’m a person that likes color, and nupastels have a lot of options in that area. If you read my last post, you’ll know I don’t always paint people their true skin color, instead I like to make them in non-neutral colors such as green or purple. I do the same thing with the nupastels; I pick a color I like that day and draw the whole figure that because why not? Especially since it’s just a sketch for my own practice, I might as well have some fun with it.

The summer is an awesome time to try out new mediums; you have no teacher or professor telling you what to use. Instead, find something you like and try it out. You could surprise yourself with the outcome.

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