Blog - Watercolor and Pastel Projects

Techniques in Watercolor and Pastel

Watercolor Project – Painting Flowers

June 28, 2017

Painting Flowers in watercolor is one of my favorite subjects. And of course in Spring there are usually plenty of willing subjects at my fingertips.   I plant mostly flowers that I like to paint. Peonies are among those subjects – they don’t stay around long and of course this year, they bloomed the only week I was out of town!!!! Oh well had to rely on other gardens for pictures.  My Day Lilies have outdone themselves in blooming this year.

Background layer


I do stretch my paper by wetting and stapling to a board. When its dry then I start with the drawing, making sure it’s what I want for composition. Most of the time I draw on tracing paper and them make the placements using transfer paper. This way I don’t leave pencil marks on the wc paper than won’t come up.

At this point, I need to decide if any part of the flower needs a mask. I use the blue Pebo mask. I also mask in my signature.

Next I put in a layer of the background – sometimes it is difficult to decide what color for a background.   I work with the color wheel a lot on this. The first layer is a light color which will probably have several layers on top later.  In this painting I did make a little change from the yellow to a more subtle Raw Sienna color.

The flower colors go on next – I usually start with the darker value parts of the flower as they will have several layers and it give me a feel if all will work.   Some parts of the petals have to be blended from dark to almost white. If you work on this slowly, it will come together nicely. Once the flowers are complete, check the edges and clean up anything that doesn’t look right. Most of the time if you will just wet the spot you want up, then dab with facial tissue, it will come up. You may have to do this a couple times to remove.

Watercolor 14×14 $250

Hope you have enjoyed this demo.  Contact me if you have any questions.




Flowers in Watercolor

Watercolor 8 x 10 $150

Watercolor   8 x 10    $150

Flowers are one of my favorites and I seem to go back to painting that subject.  There is just something about painting flowers, which is soothing to me.   Even though it takes more time to create in watercolor, I always seem to gravitate in that direction.

I took photos of a friends beautiful zinnia gardens this past summer anticipating I would have time to paint them in watercolor this winter.  The time has come:

I love the way the flowers look against a white background but sometimes it’s fun to put some of that muted background in the painting.  Of course the butterfly is a wonderful addition.  “Sweet Nectar” is such a painting.  I started by masking the flowers and butterfly and pouring on the paint.  Then began on the flowers.  Enjoy!


Texture in Pastel

Pastel 12 x 9 $150

Pastel   12 x 9    $150

Attended Tom Christopher’s pastel workshop in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida in November 2015.

Great Workshop and learned lots about texture in your paintings.

I love working with texture but still need to perfect it.  Tom’s method is to use inexpensive interior paint and drizzle if on a support. Pastel ground is then added on the entire surface.   I like that a lot but have a problem controlling where it goes.


Pastel Underpaintings

Sunset Islands Pastel 7x10 $100

Sunset Islands  Pastel   7x10   $100

Most of the time, I use watercolor or pastel and alcohol as an underpainting but I’d like to experiment and play around with other mediums. I just bought a small set of Cretacolor Woodless Aquarelle Pencils. I’m going to play with them using as an underpainting. Also have some new Inktense Derwert pencils I want to try. The darker Inktense Derwert worked ok but I didn’t find that I like it any better than pastel and alcohol or watercolor.

Pastel Workshop

November 1, 2015

St Marks Fog Pastel 11 x 14 $250

St Marks Fog  Pastel    11 x 14     $250

Here is another painting from Tom Christopher’s pastel workshop.  Great Workshop and learned lots about texture in your paintings.  I used the texture in the foreground grass.



October 30, 2015

Harvest Time by Carolyn Molder Art

Pastel   16 x 20

On the Easel finds my trip to the Golden Retriever National Specialty in Ohio last October wonderful.  The beautiful farmland was begging to be photographed.  I didn’t realize there was so much farmland near Dayton.  We traveled each day about 35 miles to the show site via the back roads with wonderful opportunities for photos.  The evening sun was sinking fast when we found a partial cut cornfield.  The evening shadows and late sun gave the corn rows a wonderful sparkle.  I hope I have captured this on the painting above – “Harvest Time”.


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