View Full Version : Zara - Watercolor Washes Under Pastel

02-19-2002, 09:17 AM
Zara - Watercolor Washes Under Pastel (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/1730/176/)

Great article, dj*! I really enjoyed it. I'm going to try that technique. Thanks for sharing. :)

kansas artist
02-20-2002, 02:56 PM
I too enjoyed your article very much! I love to see stages of a painting and I am always delighted when the finished image is so beautiful. You have done a great job. I have been searching for a different way to paint with pastels and this goes on my list of "Things to Try" Thank-You -Lisa

02-20-2002, 09:28 PM
How lovely! What a great job! I am very impressed. I have worked with watercolor and acrylic under pastel but I always love to see what others do and how. The colors are just great!

What an inspiration. Thanks!

02-20-2002, 09:47 PM
DJ. This is absolutely beautiful and your demo excellent. Thank you.


02-21-2002, 09:31 PM
Debra Jones,

What an absolutely beautiful portrait, and I love the idea of watercolour washes and pastels. I am definitely going to try this, using my husband, and I'm going to have him wearing a red shirt!

Thanks very much for this project!!

03-04-2002, 05:01 PM
Hi, Debra,

I'm glad to find someone else using cold-press watercolor paper for pastels. I recently stumbled across this myself, and I really like the rough texture the paper gives to the final product. I, too, like the way watercolor underpainting lets me achieve those really DARK darks!

I found that I do need to apply a good amount of fixative on the painting to keep the pastel from knocking off, and it makes the lights a little darker, but I also found that I can touch them up a bit without having to apply any more pastel.


03-04-2002, 05:02 PM
Er, that last line should have read, "without applying any more FIXATIVE" not pastel.

03-08-2002, 11:52 PM
Beautiful!! I've been wanting to try watercolor washes after seeing this I feel the inspiration to do it. Thanks for the lesson.

03-09-2002, 10:26 PM
Somehow I guess I didn't get subscribed to this one.
Thanks all! I didn't realize I was popular!!!

I have gotten a lot of nice letters from people I don't even know (or maybe recognize) from the boards.

I was re reading Wheez and will give the standard pastellist reply. DON'T use fixative on soft pastels. It is such a shame to flatten those beautiful colors. If at all possible, unless you are DOING it to get the darks, try anything but fixative.

Duane Wakeham suggested running to the local video store and seeing if they had any of the old posters they were thowing out to use between the sheets, and store them unsprayed.

I use a LOT of nupastel. It is stable but not nearly as rich. I like to spray and then finish with soft pastels when possible and leave them alone. If I use them, like I did with Terry's here, I try hard to remember they will be the darks and YUP they go down a shade or two.

By making the underpainting good and dark, the colors on top stay nice and juicy but there are none of those annoying white pimples from pastel papers.

Just for the people who have asked: NOT a good idea to use this on pastel papers. The watercolor is FOR the water. If you don't like the texture, I would assume you could even rough it up with a bit of sandpaper before you paint and it would be toothier.

Thanks again for all your lovely reviews!!!

04-05-2002, 10:56 AM
I just broke out my Rembrandts, DJ...and started up after about 20 years. I was inspired afer seeing some work by artists in the recent Pastel Journal. I naturally went to the channels to see what might be there for demo's on WC, and yours was a nicely done demo! Congrads!!!

I'm doing something similar with landscapes at the moment, only using acrylics to lay in some flat underpainting.
Thanks for taking time to put this together, I'm sure many will benefit.


Anna Marie
04-05-2002, 04:37 PM
Great Article. I am a great fan of Sally Strand. My trouble is I dont like using pastel on grainy paper I flip all my pastel paper onto the smooth side. The only time I tried pastel on Watercolor paper I felt that I might as well have use a cheese grater. It may be my technique isnt there or it could be that I get close to my work and like a lot of detail a hang up with a few problems I have with my eyesight!

04-07-2002, 11:31 PM
Hi Debra:
Your color is so beautiful and rich! Thank you for doing the fine article always good to see how others work.

11-11-2003, 11:15 AM
Great article. Will add it to my "want to do list"

11-11-2003, 02:40 PM

I love using pastels over watercolor but you are THE MASTER!!!

11-12-2003, 01:26 AM
Thanks for the wonderful demo DJ. That's exactly what I need to see. Steps...I need steps !



11-12-2003, 04:34 AM
bly me.....this is old......DJ wrote that article back in the summer of 2002.........good to see it back.....lol!

12-03-2003, 12:34 PM
Greetings to all,

This is my first post and I want you all to know I LOVE WetCanvas and all of you warm generous people!

This demo was so great I sat down and did it right away. I love to work spontaneously. Thanks for reposting it!

My question: I have heard oils will rot paper in time which is why this is not traditionally done. Any Comments to this?

12-21-2003, 05:24 PM
I too loved this demo!

I will try this technique out because I have started using pastels (mainly Rembrandt soft pastels) and I have been agonising a bit over getting dark darks. I can see that this would work...dark watercolour.

Also, what freedom for your undercolour...washes all over the place, such freedom, and a bit more exciting than a one-tone pastel paper I guess.

So, by coming to WC site, I am beginning to grow a list of have-to-try techniques. How fabulous.

Thank you,

Merry Christmas