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This landscape  painting was created using wax resist. The white clouds in the sky and the field are crayon as well as some of the colors in the trees. The wax in the crayons resist the watercolor allowing them to show through. I have created several interesting paintings with this technique. You can also use candles to create effects on your paper.The candles can be rubbed in over dry watercolor before a second layer is applied. The first layer will show through wherever the candle wax was scrubbed in. When using crayon colors other than white, make sure they are compliments or a different value than the watercolor or the resulting effect is rather dull. This is an excellent technique that can add texture to a watercolor when cold press and rough watercolor papers are used because the wax rides on the bumpy surface and allows the watercolor to settle in the grooves of the paper.

June did a wax resist on one of her chili pepper studies a while back.

47 White Buffalo wrote the following haiku to go along with this watercolor. It reads as follows:

                                               ” mind open eyes does learn

                                                 waxing watercolors fresh

                                                 clouds surprise trees new”

Thank-you 47!

Carol tried wax resist in her new painting, today!


  1. Well well, thanks for teaching me something new Leslie–I would have NEVER have thought of this technique with the wax crayons. What an interesting idea. (oddly enough I do have a fresh unused box of prang crayons just waiting for some fun)Ha. I’m going to have to try this! OH yeah.
    Love the scene and the colors. I’m now wondering how the original appears with the wax component. mmm. nice! grins.

    • Hi 47. Thanks for the upbeat comment on this post. Just remember when you try this to have opposing colors or light and dark alternating with your paint and crayon. Have fun!

  2. All these colors in the tress, and yet, they work very well together ! Very luminous.

    • Thanks Isabelle. You are so correct about many colors. I had to concentrate on the colors so they read well.

  3. right on leslie, what beautiful warm colors…i love the sky…who says adults can’t play with crayons?

    • Thank-you, Tracey. I should play with crayons more often. I forgot to mention that the same results can be achieved with oil pastel, also. I’m coming over to your site to see if more of the sunflower is done!

    • severnyproductions
    • Posted August 21, 2009 at 8:40 pm
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    • Reply

    A perfect balance of colour, advanced stuff. thanks

  4. I look forward to your cityscape painting. Seeing your landscapes in watercolors, I am sure you will do well in cityscapes. I have done wax resist on sea waves – don’t know how else to paint the water spray without resorting to titanium white or masking fluid. I learned from this post that you can do wax resist on trees and field as well.

    • Thanks for another comment Raji. Sea waves. Thanks for the tip; wouldn’t have thought of that. Almost done with city scape. I’m definitely going to have to work on them. I don’t see them as well as I can visualise an animal or figure.

  5. Well, it came out looking good whatever the technique.

  6. This looks like the view from my window! Lovely warm colours and the wax makes some interesting texture.

    • This is a view from my upstairs of the field across the street. Thanks, Sarah.

  7. I can feel the fresh autumn air.. 🙂

  8. This really demonstrates your skill and ability and I was wowed by the racehorse picture (related post link below) as well. It looks as if you used a variety of brushes – am I correct to assume a flat brush was used in the foreground? And are the trees already turning red where you live?

    • Yes, June. I used a flat on the field moving it up and down on its’ tip to get the look of the grasses. Thanks for the comment on the racehorse picture. No, this was last fall.

  9. I love the way you explain your process, Leslie. Always the teacher!

    • Thank-you, Kate. I must be getting in practice for the start of classes, Monday.

  10. Hi Leslie, I love the colors in the foliage and the warm gold of the field in the forefront.

    When I did the foliage watercolor it was very hard to keep the colors true and not muddy them up. I’m very interested in this wax crayon technique. Thanks for sharing the information. I would like to give it a try. What kind of wax crayon should I get. I’m assuming not crayola?

    • Thanks Carol! I used Crayola on this. I like it better than using oil pastel because it doesn’t smear, is easier to store the finished artwork, and it doesn’t look as heavy bodied as the oil pastel. I find this is great for texture when used with watercolor.

  11. Hi Leslie
    What beautiful rich colours. In the past I’ve used this technique but with oil pastles. I think the advantage of oil pastles is that the colours are really strong & they somehow feel more organic to use than wax crayons! On the other hand,wax crayons are less messy & you can probably be more precise with them. Anyway, they certainly seem to have worked here.

    I teach art to kids & I find it’s an excellent technique for them as it gives a structure which would otherwise be difficult for them to get with watercolour alone.

    • Hi Sonya! Thanks for the tip above and for visiting. I had not found your site, previously, in explorations and just took a quick peek. Your paintings are beautiful. Shapes….love your shapes in the pieces I viewed so far. I agree. Oil pastels are more difficult for me to store. I hit these with fixative and can store them with my watercolors in a portfolio.

  12. Stunning! Your use of color is right on for the eye.

  13. I never would have thought to do that. I’m excited to try it now! Beautiful painting by the way.

    • Thanks for the comment, Little Lynx. It is fun. I had to keep it simple, at first. Now, I use it a lot here and there on other mixed media I do.

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] to painting class today and started the painting above.  I tried a wax resist technique that both Leslie and June talked about.  I didn’t use it all over, just in a few spots, particularly on the […]

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