Wax Resist watercolor tutorial
OBJECT: Learn to use wax-based media for watercolor 'resist' technique.
Materials and drawing
Arches CP #140 watercolor paper, a 1" red sable Grumbacher wash brush. A candle and a number of light colored crayons from and old pack of 64.
Permanent Rose, Ultramarine Blue, Dioxazine Purple, Pthalocyanine Blue, Burnt Umber.
I gathered the materials
and roughed in a quick landscape in pencil.
Is that a moon?
I started by drawing
the moon in with the edge of a candle.
I couldn't see the wax
on the paper so I continued to throw in some cloud forms that I couldn't see.
I then rough in some
reflections below the moon, in the soon-to-be dark lake.
Picking out some grassy areas
Using a yellow-green crayon
I drew in some grassy reed areas around the edges of the lake area.
It is futile to resist
Using a yellow crayon
I added more details to the grassy areas.
With the yellow-green crayon
I put a light tone along the edge of the horizon.
I finished by dotting
a few stars in the sky with a white crayon and using a light periwinkle blue to try and catch some highlights in the lake area.
Are the stars out tonight?
I mixed a intense Ultramarine Blue
wash and started laying in the night sky.
The areas covered with wax
resist the paint, and stay white. Not quite what I had visualized, but I digress and continue.
Maybe a little more color
As I washed in the rest
of the sky area I added some Permanent Rose and a touch of Dioxazine purple towards the horizon line to liven things up.
I mixed some Ultramarine Blue
and Burnt Umber into a medium gray and started to cut in the background hills over the resist areas.
Shifting colors and water tones
The gray didn't work out
too well so I layed a wash of pure Ultramarine over top of the backgroud hills to pop up the color.
I then mixed some Pthalocyanine Green
with a bit of the previous gray wash and pulled the green wash over the surface of the lake, revealing more resist detail.
It's easy to resist
I continued with the grayed-green
wash, leaving a bit of white paper and drybrush toward the far shore to accentuate the reflections on the water. Some backwash came down from the blue hills so I worke d the blue into the lake.
Click image to enlarge.
The wax resist technique
requires some thought and preplanning if you are doing representational work.