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This painting is very similar to the banana plant shown here. I soaked a piece of 140 lb cold press paper in water for about  5 min, making sure the paper is saturated ( a simple line drawing of Payton was already drawn on the paper). I then layed the wet paper on a sheet of acrylic and smoothed it out.  I began my image by painting with watercolor as I had with the banana plant. Then, to furthur describe Payton, I began working pastel into the soupy wet of the watercolors. Interesting effects occur when you do this. Sometimes the pastel blends with some of the soupy color and other times it acts as a strong resist. The pastel becomes super creamy in the water and easy to work into the image. The interesting effects on the right side of the background was not salt but something the paper came into contact with when soaked, so you may have some of this. The one thing I had to watch for with this technique is to not build up one medium over the other and to let them compliment one another. As the paper becomes more dry, your watercolor will go in with deeper color. Remember, when finished, to move the paper to another surface than the acrylic. If  left on the acrylic, it could become stuck to it. Because of the pastel in this, I lightly spray my finished painting with fixative. I used nupastels and soft pastels, both, in this.


  1. Oh what fun !!! It sounds like a messy unpredictible process! I love it ! He sure is a cute dog, and you’ve captured him well. It is not easy to do a white hair dog !!

    • Thank-you, Isabelle. This is one of my maltese friends. It can be messy, but largely stays on the acrylic. The idea is to start with broad washes of watercolor and some pastel and as the paper dries, you get more detailed. I had two throw-away attempts before I got the feel of it.
      White is difficult. I have to pull out my value experiences from drawing to get that part.

  2. You have the most fun ideas for different techniques and mediums. Where do you get all these great ideas? Now I want to try this technique too!

    • Thank-you, Little Lynx. Most of the time I dig in books and magazine articles for other artists sharing their techniques. This particular technique is one I learned from an article about an artist that painted landscapes this way. If she was painting a scene near a creek, river, or lake, she’d actually soak her water in the water source on site. Wouldn’t it be neat to sea what paper soaked in ocean saltwater would do with the paint and pastel? My first two attempts at this were horrid till I learned how the mediums came together. They were pitched.

  3. Lovely, bright colours and deft brush strokes. The effects in the background are amazing to look at – seem almost digitally mastered. I agree with napabelle – don’t think I’d like to try painting a white dog, no matter how irresistible.

    So grateful to you for carefully describing your techniques – you’re a true inspiration Leslie.

    • Thank-you, June. This is a great technique when someone’s paintings are getting a little too tight because you have to do it fast. Paper’s drying! It’s not fair if I don’t try to help with how-to, right? Hopefully we are all getting ideas from each other. By the way, my class painted anything circles last night. We had pumpkins, bubbles, balloons and I got that idea from you!

  4. Oh my gosh, Leslie! Payton is wonderful! Now I want to stop what I’m doing and try that. It really turned out great. Your banana trees did, too!

    • I had to post Payton. He looks so much like your paintings of Goldie! Thank-you for the comment, Beth.

  5. You may have pitched a couple to get to this end result, but it certainly lead to something pretty cool, usual, I love the background…I also think your fondness for your dogs shows in every piece you do of them…nice job Les

    • Thank-you, Tracey. Yep…pitched till I got it right. Thanks for the comment on my fondness for the dogs.

  6. have you considered painting on silk? I think it really suits your style.

    • Thanks for this, Paulina. No. I have never tried nor read about watercolor on silk, but I’ll look into it. Yet another thing to try! Thank-you for visiting.

  7. Wow! Another painting AND another technique. Using more than one medium. I can barely keep up. But I love that you describe how you did your painting. When I first looked, I thought you had used salt for the background. So thanks for explaining that. And the fact that you painted a white dog with so many colors, yet Payton still reads as a white dog is amazing!

    • Thank-you for this, Carol. You just did a massive white subject with your clouds so I’m just as envious of your white painting!

  8. Leslie, did you keep the paper wet the whole time? That is amazing. I guess you have to really plan yourself for this painting then. The strokes on the dog hair look so playful.

    • No, Raji. The paper is soaking wet when you start and your water color flows all over the paper. You paint and pastel quickly and with a purpose. I think this took an hour and a half. The paper was still damp when I slid it off on a board to dry. The strokes on the dog look playful because I was working faster than I normally do to get the information down. You have to decide before you start one of these that you are going to give up some of that control bug that eats away at a lot of us when we create. Thank-you for the comment!

  9. What a cute dog! 😀

  10. it looks to me like you used just the perfect amount of colour, very good

    • Thanks so much, Kokot. Hey…Did you have a good time at the concert?

  11. OH!

  12. Mooi Leslie – the shimmer in the colours you have created makes me wonder if you could use this sort of technique in your next peacock painting. (o:

  13. It looks so cute! I will have to try this technique someday. Seems very interesting… take care. martin

  14. A cool looking dog!

  15. Ooo that sounds really interesting. I must give that a try, even though pastels scare me. I can’t get to grips with them. You know me, I’m up for weird and wonderful techniques! There is only so much you can do with quink and bleach, etc. I’m constantly on the lookout for new things to try for my projects. I like what was said about using sea water. That would be quite interesting indeed.

    • I don’t care to use pastels other than in this technique, Heather. This is fun, though. Remember It took a couple tries for me to get anything I liked. Thanks for the visit!

      • Actually, I thought I’d give them a try today. So, I worked on the life drawing stuff from class using soft pastels, and I’m actually pretty pleased with the results, even though they made a complete mess! I’ll be adding it to my page later on.

    • You Go Girl! Can hardly wait to see them!

  16. Leslie,

    This little fellow has so much personality. He is almost as interesting as the method of using pastel you describe. I am anxious to try.


    • Thanks, Alix. Have fun with it. It took me the third try to get the hang of it.On the first two, I had paint and pastel everywhere! lol

  17. Color, color, color. Your eye is seeing what others do not naturally take in.

    • Thanks, Nancy. This would be one you would comment on as I know you really go for the loose and colorful! Thanks for the visit. What would I do without sisters!

  18. Thank goodness I can see these images again (fingers crossed all has been fixed…) I wouldn’t have missed this one – so colourful! I love this experiement, and may give it a try myself. I have used a wet brush on chalk pastel, used thinners or the equivalent on oil pastel, but not this. So lively and vibrant too! I had a look at the banana plant, the way Payton’s hair falls is very like it lol! (I’ve celebrated being able to see images again by a Haiku of my own)

    • Thanks, Lynda. This technique is a lot of fun and rather freeing. I tend to get too tight, over time, and have to come up with ways to stretch a little. I don’tknow why the images went out on wordpress the other day for here, also. It was frustrating.

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. By I Love Lucy « Leslie White on 18 Mar 2010 at 10:05 am

    […] room mate, Lucy. You have met the other two already. They are Tucker found here and Payton found here. You might say I live in the dogs’ house most […]

  2. […] On the sixth and last night everyone worked on a technique where they paint into a soaked piece of watercolor paper, developing the painting as it dries. They could even use pastels and work them into the watercolor. […]

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