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Pastels on Watercolor - a Mixed Media Technique

Here is another tutorial for your mixed media technique list.

Also, check out this post with a list of techniques by The Graphics Fairy.

This technique is a super simple one. Just like with most mixed media, it’s a matter of layers.

So today, I’ll be showing you the magic of applying chalk pastels onto wet watercolors.

Pastel over watercolor mixed media technique

It’s pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll show you the process.

Start by wetting your watercolors. You’ll be wanting to keep the page pretty wet, so add a lot of water to your paints.

You‘re also going to want to have your chalks nearby.

Start brushing on your watercolors. Be as messy and colorful as you want.

Technique using watercolors and pastels for mixed media

Fill your page quickly, however, because you want it to be wet when you add the pastels.

Wetting a page with watercolors for a mixed media layering technique

As soon as you’re done filling the page, grab your chalk pastel and run it slowly and gently over your paper.

Wetting a page with watercolors for a mixed media layering technique

You’ll soon notice how your chalk lines will dissolve into the watercolors.

Spreading chalk pastels over wet watercolors for a mixed media background

You may want to smooth out some of the colors with your fingers or brush or add some water here or there to get the look you want.

Chalk pastels over watercolor background technique

Here’s another one I worked on using several colors:

Soaking up chalk pastels in watercolor

And so these two pages I’m going to cut up to be artist trading cards:

Two examples of using the pastels on watercolor technique

And here is an art journal spread I’m still working on where I used this technique:

Art journal page using pastel mixed media background technique

And there you have it. Another technique to add to your mixed media backgrounds list. Please let me know in the comments what you use mixed media backgrounds for mostly; making cards, art journals, atc’s?

Here are a few more of my background tutorials with some of the same supples:

Try this mixed media background technique
Paper arts background tutorial

Paper arts background tutorial


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