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Mixing technique with soft pastel on cardboard – by Corinne Korda

The lemur startled out of its siesta was painted with soft pastel chalks over a rough sketch made of diluted opaque paint ...

“Siesta” – Individual steps

... The pastel colours were repeatedly painted over – a “smooth wash” – in various stages of development using a brush dipped in water.

The white fur sections are emphasized with opaque colours.

Water colour “Canale”

Colourful Facades in the Channels of Venice, painted with our karat aquarell watercolour pencils.

Water colour “Canale” – Individual steps

You can download the complete creative tip "Watercolour "Canal" - brightly coloured facades along the canals of Venice" as a .pdf (1 MB) here.


Tips for watercolour painting

Tips for watercolour painting

As a rule, when watercolouring, you begin with the subtle, light-coloured shades and gradually work towards the darker ones.

The painting surface itself is part of the composition, shimmering through in some places or, in other places, left in its original white state as a highlight. Watercolour pencils can be used with water to create a very thin or partial wash so that characteristic hatching lines remain visible. Colours are often added to a pre-moistened surface or still damp wash so that they run into each other and merge, thereby creating the textures and blends so characteristic of this kind of painting.

The subtlety and delicacy of this painting technique is emphasised still more when parts of the picture are left incomplete, with some of the content merely hinted at, leaving scope for interpretation.

Tips for watercolour painting

Useful accessories for watercolour pencils:

A quality sharpener with a sharp blade (e.g. STAEDTLER art. no. 512 002), high-quality brushes in the sizes 8, 15 and 20 make a good basic set, two glasses of water (change frequently), paper stomps or, alternatively, cotton buds, tissue paper or tracing paper to protect the finished picture, kneadable eraser for the removal or lightening of watercolour pencil marks (STAEDTLER art. no. 5427).

Painting surface:

Only highly absorbent kinds of paper are suitable for painting with water-colour pencils. As paper can ripple when brought into contact with water, paper of at least 250g/m2 should be used. There are many different kinds of real hand-made paper, from papyrus, Japanese paper and wood-free types (particularly white) right up to embossed card e.g. linen structure. The characteristics of the paper chosen will have a strong influence on the final painting, especially in the case of very subtle watercolours.

Mixed techniques:

Watercolour pencils are ideal for all kinds of mixed techniques. For centuries now, pen, ink, pencil and charcoal drawings have been watercoloured and used as sketches for oil painting. The combination of watercolours with soft pastel chalks and oil pastels creates contrasting effects and allows for hatching, superimposed highlights and accents.

Tips for oil pastel painting

Tips for oil pastel painting

Oil pastels are particularly versatile and possess great expressive power. They contain oil and wax as binding agents. As a result, they do not cause dust and they adhere very well even to smooth paper. Their vibrant colours are reminis- cent of oil paints. They have superb coverage characteristics and best effects are achieved when the colours are applied thickly. Any surplus colour should be removed every now and again with a cotton cloth or piece of kitchen towel.

In addition to this, attractive, smooth transitions of colour can be created by smudging. Oil pastels are not really suitable for detailed work. However, the crayons can be sharpened a little (it is recommended to place them in the fridge for a while beforehand).Another alternative is to take the desired colour and apply it to a piece of e.g. card, partially dissolve it using a brush dipped in solvent and then paint any details on using the brush.

Highlights and shadows are emphasise as a last step using black and white crayons.In this example, impressive effects have been created by a clear, linear structure, leaf metal and relief elements in gold.

Basic techniques

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