Painting With Prismacolor Premier NuPastel Hard Pastels

Sketching with Prismacolor Premier® NuPastel® Hard Pastels for the first time opens the door into an exciting new world for illustrators.

Painting with pastels certainly blurs that line. For starters, it’s a dry medium that can feel like chalk. But yet when applied to paper, the result can resemble paint. You can see the layers of color build up to leave a nice, pleasing texture. 

Morgan Davidson is a Denver-based artist who uses many mediums, with a particular strength in
using Prismacolor Premier® NuPastel® Hard Pastels. She shares her passion and the secrets for her success:

"Pastel is a unique medium to work with," she says. "It can layer endlessly and create a wide spectrum of textures. Unlike graphite where I work from dark to light and marker where I work from light to dark, with pastel I start in the middle. I find the colors or values that are the most prominent and fill in the image with these mid tones." 

Then, she says, comes the fun part of working with the medium. "After the mid tones are blocked in, I start building up the highlights and shadows. The most fun thing about working with pastels is all the tools you can use to blend! I use my fingers, cotton swabs, sponges, paper towels… really anything is fair game when it comes to pastels." 

Pastels can sometimes take on a built up appearance. Morgan's solution? Workable fixative. 

"If the drawing starts to get a little messy or built up," she says, "I go in with an even layer of workable fixative. Workable fixative will be your best friend when working with pastel. It creates a barrier on top of your pastel drawing which minimizes smudging and makes it easier to layer more refined details on top. Pastel is a lot like painting in the sense that you can layer endlessly. The more layers, the more detail, it just takes time and patience!" 

Morgan Davidson is a Denver based artist who loves to draw anything colorful and inspired by nature. She has a strong passion for drawing and an artistic career from a young age, always trying to paint or draw on anything she could get her hands on. When she was in high school, she decided to pursue her dream to draw for a living which led her to study Illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design. 

In college, she had the opportunity to work with a lot of different mediums which inspired her work and allowed her grow as an artist. From pencils to pastels to markers she fell in love with exploring different ways to bring her ideas to life on paper. Since graduating from college, she has worked with many amazing companies and individuals as a freelance artist, realizing her dream to create and collaborate every day. As her artistic journey continues, she hopes to inspire other artists to also follow what they love and turn their passion into a lifelong career. 

Click below to see more of Morgan's tips and tricks. 

Instagram: @morgandavidson

Tools used: Prismacolor Premier® NuPastel® Hard Pastels