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A Video Preview & Tips for Mixing Oils With Water

Lately I have been sketching and painting a lot for my upcoming picture book (I can’t wait to share more of it with you soon). To keep myself loose and unattached to my paintings, I’ve been creating in my art journal.

I’ve been using some of my favorite art supplies like oil paintsticks, watercolors, papers, pencil and pen.

When using oils with water based supplies, I usually layer the water based supplies first, then I add the oils for pops of color or to cover something up, knowing the oils will be hard to go back over again, but that’s also how beautiful mistakes happen for me.

Here’s an example of one of my favorite projects from my Faces – Mixed Media Portraits online class, where I use oil paintsicks with watercolors to create a face…


I also use papers whenever I’m having trouble recovering a section (when the water based supplies just will not go over something)… so, sometimes I’ll add a circle of sheet music to restart a face, a strip of tissue to cover a body, or pieces of origami paper.

There have also been lots of times that I’ve done my character, gone around it with oil paintsticks and then realized I hate the entire painting and want to cover it up.

That’s when I wait for the oil paintsticks to dry (it takes 1-3 days, depending on the brand you’re using… I’ve found Shivas to dry the quickest), but this time also allows me to take a step back and decide if I really want to completely cover the painting up.

If I still don’t like the painting after a few days, I usually go over it all with acrylics, gesso or inks (using a palette knife so I can take advantage of all of the texture and scrape away enough so I can still see some of the original piece).

Then I start again.

Is there anything you’ve been struggling with in your artwork? I’d be delighted to hear from you and will be sure to look for your comments.

I hope this video sneak peek helps inspire you. It always helps me to create in my art journal and keep my favorite supplies out and ready, so I can paint every day.

And, if you know of someone who might enjoy this post, feel free to share it (there are links to like and share beside the Join The Conversation section below).

Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement. Painting has always been my passion and I am so very honored to be able to share my art with you!

Happy painting!

Juliette Crane


Ps. If you’ve been struggling with painting faces and eyes in a way that is unique to you, find more details on Faces class here.

Pps. My Happy Painting – Mini Course has just started and it has been incredible to see all of the artwork and positive, supportive community emerging.

If you’d like to join us in Happy Painting, find details here.

3 Month Payment Plans are also available for you at checkout (for all of my classes).


  1. I love these new characters in your sketch book! The pink eyes are glowing! I have not tried the oil stocks yet but they are on my wish list. I struggle with having the time and space to create. I wish to create every day but can’t due to these above. Once I get going I love it. I am very critical of my art as well and want to change it or fix it somehow. I will have to try your way to paint over the entire thing just showing a little bit. Happy Painting!

    • i totally understand… it really helps me to stay creative every day to just know i can do a little stabilo pencil sketch. it’s so much easier than getting out a bunch of supplies and still makes me feel creative and happy. xoxo

  2. Thank you for sharing your tips and advice on how you cover up the oil painted sections. Since taking your Happy Painting course, I have had so much fun creating with oil pastels and Shiva paint sticks for the first time and had no idea how to truly go over areas that I wanted to cover up or start over with, so thank you. Great advice! Congrats on your next book!

  3. I LOVE that you combine these media! Appeals to my contrary streak I guess lol. I love using paint sticks and oil pastels over acrylics. I’ve been using Winsor Newton paint sticks and Sennelier oil pastels and then I blend them with my fingers. I just LOVE the process. I’m in love with that finger blending.

    When you say you cover something up if you don’t like it, how do you deal with the media adhering to each other? Does your ‘cover up layer’ adhere properly on top of oil based media, or do you need to do something to make sure it ‘sticks’?

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