Watercolor paintings can sometimes lack a bit of contrast, a great way to add a bit of contrast and texture is to outline some elements with pastels. Watercolor and pastels are great medium to mix because they both are very mat.
This is a technique that can be used by watercolorists but also in any kind of mixed media painting.
You might also like: Dry pastels, alternative ways of using them in mixed media
Here is how you can do it
You will need:
- Watercolor paper, I used Fabriano 140 lb, cold press
- Watercolor paint, I used Da Vinci and Yarka watercolors
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Masking fluid, I used Da Vinci masking fluid
- A silicon brush or an old brush to apply the masking fluid
- Pastels, I used nupastels
- A stretching board, staples, pencil, eraser….
Once your paper has been stretched, start by transferring your drawing to your watercolor paper. You can preserve some areas with masking fluid or like here, protect the contours so you can paint the background more easily.
Here I am starting by painting the background wet into wet.
You can add textures to your background by sprinkling some alcohol into the wet watercolor wash.
Removing the masking fluid.
This is a new layer of masking fluid, this time to preserve some white highlights.
Wet into wet painting.
Softening edges on a petal.
This is the watercolor painting, let it dry completely before applying the pastels crayons.
Outline the contours of your painting with the pastels crayons, you can use different colors or just one, as you want.
You can also highlight elements of your choice on the painting, here the pistils.
Scrubbing with a stiff brush to soften hard edges and lighten some areas.
The finished painting: Cherry Blossoms, watercolor and pastels on paper. The pastels did add very vibrant highlights and a bit of texture to the painting. I did fix it with Krylon workable fixative.
Have you try adding pastels or other media to your watercolors?