The first part of my career was heavily invested in soft pastels, which are like chalk. I never really liked the feel of the oil ones. But a friend recent suggested I try them again, so I bought just a couple of random sticks to test out. It’s always good to try things again after a break and see if your younger self might have been wrong. (Hello, tomatoes!) I think I might really like these. They’re immediate and loose and rich, and, unlike soft pastels, I don’t need to carry an easel around. These don’t have to be vertical to drop all the drifting dust. They’re actually a lot like high quality crayons for adults. You end up carrying a little more around on your back, but they work nicely large. I might get a bigger sketch pad and a small set take some to Paris with me next week. It would be fun to work in a very different medium while I’m there. These are a lot looser and more linear than the work I’ve been doing lately. It would be a fun change. They would be great for figure sessions as well I think. I do love having my model right beside me all the time. Yay for Mr. Darcy.
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Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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