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Fairy Watercolor Tutorial for MIXED MEDIA Beginners + Confections VINTAGE PASTEL Watercolor Set Review
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If you've been hanging out with me for a while on my Mixed Media YouTube channel, you know how much fun I've had exploring Prima Watercolor sets!
Today I'm swatching the Confections Vintage Pastel set and challenging myself to create something just with the colors provided in this cute little palette.
If you love a FREE full-length watercolor tutorial that's easy enough for beginners, you're in for a treat! Grab whatever pastel watercolors (or any watercolors!) you have, and come play with me!!
My mixed media watercolor rule of thumb is to ALWAYS swatch your watercolors (or ANY art supplies!) before using them.
I've learned this the hard way SO many times over, and now I love swatching so much that I actually do it twice- once on top of the swatch card included with my palette, and once again inside a little watercolor swatch journal as a backup - just in case I lose the little card that came with my palette!
Swatching helps to prevent SO many future mistakes and surprises! Trust me, I learned the hard way- and this my friend, is the solution that your future self will be SO grateful for!
As I've leaned into the whole swatching process, I've discovered watercolor swatching is super relaxing and really feels like quality time just for me to be. I can "get to know" my new art supplies, and chill with some music or a podcast in the background. It's kinda the best!
As I swatched this little pastel set, I was kinda surprised at just how LIGHT these pastel colors are. I knew they were going to be light, but they're even lighter than I imagined. It takes a LOT of water and TONS of pressure to get any pigment onto the paper at all!
I transfered the outline of a fairy photograph onto "the good stuff" - a sheet of 140lb. cold press, 100% cotton watercolor paper by Arches! This stuff is SO absorbent.
To get this project started, I decided to try a wet-on-wet pastel rainbow, but it BARELY shows up. Not a good sign... especially for someone like me, who LOVES bold color. I added a second rainbow layer and didn't get much more out of it, so moved on to my fairy's face.
Because the pastels were so light, I had to do a little more color mixing than I typically do, to try and get 3 shades in light, medium and dark to help me with my fairy face shading.
If understanding WHERE to add shading on a face is a mystery to you - I REALLY break this down in my How to Draw and Find Your Style book, and show it to you in action in this YouTube video.
Throughout today's fairy project, I really struggled with how light the pastel watercolors were, until I used the black color included in this set in the background. This move immediately pushed my fairy forward so she began to stand out. What a difference!
After the background was complete, I did a little more color mixing to darken some of the pastels to add dimension throughout. Easier said than done with this palette! LOL.
To keep things delicate - I decided to do my outlining and detail doodling in straight-up graphite with a mechanical pencil. I LOVE how this tied things together.
I hope today's video shows you how it even takes me time sometimes to fight through a project with my own expectations, art supply limitations, and the "ugly phase" (the phase EVERY project goes through that ALMOST can make you give up!)?!
I'm SO glad I didn't give up on my sweet fairy or these pastel watercolors!! Although frustrating for me initially, they were super worth it in the end!
?If you art-ed along with me - please share your work in the Facebook Group and add the hashtag #KarensYouTube.
Adding this simple hashtag enters your name into my virtual hat for a drawing of random winners on my next Giveaway day (always the 1st of the Month).
My giveaways are AWESOME too, by the way! From hoodies, to pencil pouches, art books, and more - it's SO worth it to play along!
LOVED TODAY'S PROJECT & WANT MORE?
Wahoo!! You might just fall in LOVE with the Celtic Collective. It's the fantasy art themed membership that I co-host with my Scottish bestie, Lucy Brydon, over at Awesome Art School :) We have an absolute blast creating beautiful lessons of mermaids, fairies, castles, unicorns and MORE for our students!!
?Want a sneak peek at ALL the projects inside the Celtic Collective? Check out our Visual Index!
LOVE HOW THIS PROJECT
"Karen is flipping hilarious and she's very real...I like the way she teaches in a way that really gives you confidence, whether you're a beginner or advanced there's always something new to learn!"
- Elizabeth W.
What Fans Are Saying
Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.