When you think of mixed media, you envision acrylic paintings with collage, India ink and assorted doodads adhered to the surface.
However, a much subtler form of mixed media combines two mediums that complement each other and make the most of the basic characteristics of each.
Chalk pastel is a water-soluble medium, so it works great with other water-based paints.
Pastel is very adaptable and is used for both simple line drawings and elaborate works of art.
Watercolors are a perfect foil for pastel. Its transparent character makes an exciting counterpoint to the opaque and lush quality of pastels.
Many artists apply pastels over a watercolor composition to add opacity and highlights. Worked over dry areas, this builds the layers of color to add interest.
You also can apply pastel to wet passages of your painting or even use water and a brush to blend the colors and give the pastel a painterly appearance.
When working with watercolor and pastel, don’t use your pastel paper. It’s thin and can’t stand up to the water. Use a good, thick watercolor paper so it doesn’t buckle. A cold pressed or rough pressed paper is ideal to add texture to your pastel.
Here are some great paints, papers and pastels to create picture perfect paintings!
Prismacolor Colored Pastel Sticks
More durable than many brands, Prismacolor pastels are great for doing hard edge and line work.
Creamy and rich in pigment, these pastels work well for both beginning artist and seasoned professional illustrator.
A nice range of 36 colors is packaged in a slotted box, so it’s ready to pack and go whenever you are.
Faber-Castell Soft Pastels
Great for blocking in colors, this set of 72 half-stick pastels is a reasonably priced with a great selection of colors.
They’re vibrant and rich colors without the high-end price.
The sticks are named and numbered on the back cover, so there’s no guessing.
The box has a slotted insert, so the chalk stays in place if you’re taking it out for Plein air painting.
Strathmore 400 Series Watercolor Pad
Strathmore has been producing good quality paper for both students and professionals for years. This is the 400 series, so it’s 140-pound paper, and it comes wire bound with a strong backer board that makes it great for Plein air painting.
The cold press finish gives some tooth to the surface that’s perfect for both watercolor and pastels and the paper is blended wood pulp and acid-free.
Fabriano Studio WC Pad
Fabriano is a well-known name in artist’s paper, and they produce quality papers for watercolorists, pastel artists and other aquarelle painters. This 50 sheet pad of 9″x12″ cold press paper is perfect for watercolor and multimedia and stands up to repeated washes of paint.
The 25 percent cotton paper is externally and internally sized and it is archival and acid-free with a neutral PH.
Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Color
This set of 12 basic colors comes in 8 ml tubes, packaged in a convenient field case for Plein air painting. The colors included are Cadmium Yellow Hue, Cadmium Red Pale Hue, Cerulean Blue Hue, Ultramarine, Prussian Blue, Viridian Hue, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Ivory Black and Chinese White.
Some of these colors are made from the less expensive pigments so they are more budget-friendly than the professional grade, but they are good paints for anyone that needs to economize.
Holbein Artists’ Watercolor 5ml 18 Color Set
This professional grade watercolor is known for the high ratio of pigment used in its production. Intense and rich, this paint is also translucent and permanent. You can’t go wrong with quality.
The colors included in the 5 ml tubes are Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Chinese White, Cobalt Blue (Hue), Compose Blue, Crimson Lake, Ivory Black, Juane Brillant #2, Mineral Violet, Permanent Green #1, Permanent Green #2, Permanent Yellow Lemon, Permanent Yellow Deep, Prussian Blue, Rose Madder, Vermilion (Hue) and Viridian (Hue)