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Resist Effects With Watercolors Over Oil Pastels for Mixed Media

I’m going to teach you how to create another super cool resist technique using watercolors over oil pastels.

I’ve already shown you how to use chalk pastels with watercolors, but the effect is very different.

oil pastels and watercolor background technique

Here’s what I did...

I decided to use two colors of pastels to create a random design on my watercolor paper, making sure I left some room in between markings:

oil pastel background design

background with oil pastels

After I filled the page, I started applying watercolor between the lines of the oil pastels:

using watercolor with oil pastels

You can start to see how the oil pastels are resisting the watercolor:

oil pastels with watercolor

Here’s the finished page:

watercolor and oil pastel background

Here is one more I made:

watercolor over oil pastels background design

Didn’t those turn out cool?

But wait… I did an experiment.

You see, I found an old book. I thought it was perfect for altering, like an art journal.

old book to alter

I wanted to make a page in the book and use the oil pastels and watercolor technique as the background.

My dilemma was that the book pages were pretty much non-porous. You need a piece of paper that’s pretty porous to hold the watercolors. Otherwise, the color just sort of looks washed out.

I remembered I had bought a product called Paper Clay. I didn’t know much about it, but I had a crazy idea about using it. It was a total, impulsive experiment - that’s the best kind of art 😜.

paper clay

Paperclay says it’s a modeling material. But all I was thinking was ”porous paper."

I grabbed my pasta machine/clay roller and ran some of the paper clay through it.

rolling out paper clay

It didn’t come out all that great. It fell apart a lot. But it left it intact enough for me to glue it to one of the pages in my old book.

I didn’t really take my time with this part and ended up using spray adhesive to adhere the clay to the paper. It worked, but I imagine a gel medium would be easier to use.

adding paper clay to an art Journal

On a side note, if you want to alter an old book, the best practice is to remove half the pages throughout the book. You’d also want to glue at least 3 pages together to make a thicker page to work on.

I covered the whole page and used a brayer to smooth it out.

paper clay in an art journal

After all the clay had dried, I attempted the oil pastel and watercolor techniques.

art journal background tutorial

As you can see, the clay cracked a bit but otherwise stayed on the page just fine.

And here it is with the watercolors over it:

art journal background

I’m going to say that the resist effect can be seen a little bit, but regardless, the background is fun. What do you think?

The theme I have chosen for my altered book is Tibetan Buddhism.

Here is my final page:

green tara art journal page

On the page, the image is of Green Tara, and the words are her mantra.

One more secret before I go…if you don’t have oil pastels, try using just crayons 😃.

That’s all, folks!

Click here for all the mixed media resist techniques.

If you loved this background technique, please share ❤️❤️❤️

watercolors over oil pastels background technique

watercolors over oil pastels background


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