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The above painting was created with the use of regular Crayola crayons and watercolor.


After drawing the subject, I applied crayon where I thought it was needed. The reference photo does not show all the places I applied the white crayon. The white was the most difficult part of this painting because it is not visible against the white of the watercolor paper once it is applied. I was able to tilt the board this way and that, under a light, and see some of it, but had to remember where I had gone with it while I worked it in. For this reason, I worked the whites into the surface in one sitting working from the left side of the page to the right so I could remember where I had applied it. I was able to use colored crayons on the flowers of the vase portion because the base color of the vase was an off white. Crayon applications will be most visible if they are a contrasting value or color to the watercolors you use around them.  The wax of the crayons resist the watery applications of watercolor.  Also, make sure you apply the crayon to the surface with a lot of pressure. Light applications of the wax crayon does not show up as well because it does not lend enough resistance for the watercolor to slide off its surface. The crayon lays on the top bumps of your textured coldpress watercolor paper ( even more so with rough watercolor paper). This effect helps to add texture to your finished painting.



In the next steps, I painted the flowers and vase and few petals laying at the base. All the speckled whites in the petals of the flowers and strands of spiky grass-like stems are where I had applied crayon.


This is the first application of my background. It sort of set the pattern of what I wanted to happen and I waited for it to dry before the final application of color.

orangeflw   finished painting

In this final step, I darkened the background and the shaded side of the vase to pop the flowers forward and accentuate the light.

I use crayon resist in a lot of my watercolor paintings to accentuate little light spots sparkling off the edges of things, especially if I want it to appear textured.

My students created their paintings for this week using wax resist,  tape resist or both for this week’s assignment. It is a handy technique to have when faced with needing to save whites or add texture to a watercolor.

Thank you to Wet Canvas for the photo reference for this piece.


  1. How interesting…just lovely!

  2. Amazing! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. Gorgeous painting Leslie. I love how you used the crayons. And not just white. I think I tried the using a white crayon before as a wax resist as a result of one of your posts but never heard of using the colored crayons. You are always teaching me something new. THANKS! 🙂

    • Thank you, Carol! It’s fun to try to add texture with this. They look so different! 🙂

  4. So strong. Looks like a print. The flowers certainly pop out with lits of depth. Well done

    • Thank you, so much! There is a little something different by adding the crayon and I do think the artist can play with all different effects using wax resist.

  5. Amazing! Very beautiful. Blessings to you, Leslie…

  6. Very nice Leslie

    • Thank you, Doron! I have that image of the house and the roadway imbedded in my mind, with that scraggly tree. It even caused me to page through my Van Gogh picture book last night. There is that quality to that scene you created.

      • Leslie pleasure, thank you very much it brings a smile:-)

  7. Holy cow, crayons! And it looks totally gorgeous. Such vibrant, warm color!

    • Wonder what crayons would do with your markers. I imagine it would resist that, too. Kind of hard for small areas like art cards but for bigger projects it might create some interesting effects. Thank you, so much for your comment, Cindy! 🙂

  8. Don’t know much about watercolors and hadn’t heard of crayon resist before so thanks for sharing. Really neat to see the process. Beautiful colors and effect!

    • Thank you, Applenpear! I enjoy visiting your art blog and seeing what you are learning and painting.

  9. That vase is perfect for highlighting these flowers! Love the color combinations, the vase, the flowers…well…ALL of it.

  10. beautiful painting. ~amy

  11. Wonderful. In some ways reminiscent of Vincent. You are so generous with your teaching. I am intrigued by your skills.

    • Thank you for such a wonderful comment, Gretchen. I love Van Gogh…… You are so kind.

  12. giving away your secrets. lovely painting.

    • You make me smile, ssgt Leslie. I don’t think I have secrets, because every time I think I’ve stumbled upon something new, I find someone else has done it, too! Ha! Thank you for your visit and comment!

      • that is a good thing, keep smiling, it is something new, because you may added a new twist to the technic.your welcome and thank you for the support. sorry for the delay. been off grid.

  13. Fabulous! It really does add so much texture.
    I’ve only ever done ‘paintings’ where you scrape the black paint off the wax crayon never thought to combine with watercolour.

    • Oh that scratch art is fun, too! Yep, watercolor just slides off wax and can be fun to try. Thank you!

  14. Ah, this is soooooo beautiful dear Leslie! Love it❤️❤️❤️

  15. Everything is so beautiful about it Leslie, now I will learn to see crayons with a new perspective.

    • I know! Who would think it?!?! One of my student’s husbands asked if she needed anything as he was running to the store. She said, “Yes. Could you pick me up a box of coloring crayons?” She said he looked at her in the funniest way and she took time to explain to him why she needed them. It is interesting when we delve into these artist mediums and leave our childhood mediums behind only to find out we can still use them effectively! 🙂 Thank you for this comment, Padmaja!

  16. Interesting technique, Leslie. I had to click on the picture to see the crayon parts. the effect is quite nice.

    • From a distance it all blends in, doesn’t it. Then, you walk close and can see all the wax from the crayon sitting atop the bumps or texture of the painting. I love artwork that shows the artist’s hand and work up close and changes as you view it from a distance. I had an instructor who taught me to go up close and look at a piece closely enough to see the artist’s view as he worked and then to back off and watch the change and how the values and the lines and the colors all came together. One of the best things I learned! Thank you, Ruth, for taking time to enlarge and study this.

  17. Ahh! Leslie, it’s been a while since I have commented. I was scrolling through my feedly and saw this image and said to myself that I just had to say something! I absolutely love this. I have been drawn to flowers and all things “nature” lately. This piece is so inviting, and the warm colors are a terrific color scheme. You are so good! Love it.

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