I bought a 24 set of Prismacolor Premier Nupastels on a whim (this means they were cheap on ebay and I had money from my last paycheck eating a hole in my Elvis wallet). Lately, I’ve been feeling in a rut artistically, so I decided that new art supplies– as in a completely new medium– were the answer to my woes.
And they were! There’s a lot to be said about how using something completely foreign to you can refresh your creative thinking processes. I’ve never used pastels before or even knew how. I still don’t really know what I’m doing, but I’m slowly working my way to understanding how these work.
So. The package says that they are “Firm Pastel Color Sticks.” Being less than a novice here, I’m not sure I totally know what it means for a pastel to be “hard” or “soft” but compared to a set of Van Gogh hard pastels (which I just found in my mess of supplies a few days ago), these Nupastels are really soft (Supposedly, Prismacolor makes soft pastels too, though I’ve never seen them). Their texture is velvety, almost like lipstick if lipstick were powdery. I didn’t have to press hard at all to make a rich, dark mark, and for such a soft pastel, they didn’t leave much dust.
Bonus: They are watersoluble! You can use them as a cake watercolor or as a watercolor crayon. Their solubility means that you can combine them with any other wet media, like gesso, acrylic paint, or gel mediums, and add color to those products.
These are some of the marks you can make with the different edges: the corner, the flat edge, and the full stick. They’re just on basic kraft paper. The large swatch of color was made using the complete edge of the stick, I added water to the blurred side. The color I used is 224-P or Violet (On the stick, it’s a number, but I found the corresponding color name here on this printable color chart.)
I also did some blending. On the left, it’s just the two colors overlapped. On the right, I used water to blend. Colors used: 243-P (Light Ochre) and 206-P (Carmine Madder).
Here, I blended just using my finger. Colors used: 225-P (Iron Blue, MY FAVORITE) and 286-P (Madder Pink).
Here’s how I’ve used them in my art journal:
On a tag! Fully dissolved with water.
As a background over top lilac acrylic paint. The blue dots were made by rubbing the stick across my pothole stencil.
Hopefully this post gave you an idea of what Prismacolor Nupastels can do and has sparked your creative juices. Happy art-ing!