Watercolor Crayons ~ No so Serious, Pure Fun!

What a great way to loosen up and have fun painting! Watercolor crayons changed my attitude about being a watercolorist. No longer concerned with making the paint do what I want it to do, I am playing with paint, water, color, and shapes.

These small watercolors were experiments. I wanted to see what would happen if I wet the paper and drew with the watercolor crayons. The soft bleedy lines are how it looks to draw on wet paper. And when a puddle accumulated, the effect was even greater.

watercolor crayons
Three Sisters, watercolor, 5 x 7

The most important thing was that it freed me up from trying to be good and professional at watercolor! I had so much fun, I don’t care! And I was rewarded with a couple fun paintings! When I went to title this one, I suddenly recognized my old theme of Three Sisters.

watercolor crayons
Muse Chincia, 7 x 5, watercolor

This one got off to a slow start. I thought it looked to simple, until I laid in a couple strong color fields of bright yellow and the whole painting popped. Leaving the white paper show is a leap of faith for an artist who has worked in opaque mediums like oil and pastel.

watercolor crayons
Duomo in Siena, watercolor, 8 x 6

How to paint a complex cathedral, or any complicated structure, building, tree, city? In contrast to the sky, the Duomo in Siena is white.  I began by painting the sky shape.

When dry, I wet the white paper a little and drew the cathedral with a watercolor crayon in lavender. Lavender is a shadow color.  I didn’t try to make too many details, only prominent ones.

Then I blocked in a few of the larger shadow shapes with light Ultramarine Blue. I used a lime green watercolor crayon to draw in a few highlight colors. A day later, I added another layer of Cerulean Blue to the sky to make it a deeper color and to touch a few details into the spires of the cathedral.  A cerulean highlight on the circular window make the dark window appear lighter.

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