Digital Chalk Pastels ~

These daisies were painted in Corel Painter using digital chalk pastel brushes. So many people have asked how I work, so I will share the work flow for this particular image. I build up a painting just as if I were painting with real media beginning with an underpainting. There are several “ugly” steps, but once you get past these it really comes to life with finishing touches.

It begins in Corel Painter with the canvas layer filled to a soft color. You don’t really want to work on a stark white canvas, do you? Here you can see my most basic sketch ~ just a few odd circles to indicate where I will place the flowers. As you can see, you really do not need to be able to draw ūüôā

Next comes the laying in of basic colors. No need to worry, you can make any changes you wish along the way. I warned you, this is one of the “ugly” steps. I am working with paper textures chosen for some of the brush strokes to get the underpainting in place. I just want to get a few “ideas” in place.

Adding light and darks thinking about where some shadows would be:

Now think about what will be under the daisy petals ~ more shadows. Here I’ve added shadows for the petals.

A little more work on the flower centers:

Adding some underlying petals to begin the shapes:

Yes, still quite “ugly”, I know. Finally adding the top petals. I’ve not used the color white here at all. I’ve used pale blues, pale violets, pale yellows and trying to think about the light source.

Adding some stems. Remember you can go back down in the layer stack to do this so that all of the stems are not on top of your flowers. And you can adjust the blending modes and opacity of any layers as you work, too.

More work on the flower centers and adding the tiny petals to littlest flowers:

I’ve moved to Photoshop now and decided on a slight crop along with a brightness adjustment. This is personal preference.

Still in Photoshop, I’ve given the image a tone adjustment.

I love painting with paper textures. Here I’ve¬†given this¬†painting a more cohesive look with¬†a bit of texture work:

I’m not happy with the upper right corner, so I did a little “repair”.

And the final touch, I’ve added some little seeds to the flower centers for a hint of added detail. Sometimes it is the smallest thing that tells you when an image is finished.

Yes, there are a few things I might want to change on this painting, but I’m happy with the work. And it takes time. Want a little tip? There are no shortcuts. I enjoyed giving these flowers a digital chalk pastel look. But I would not have been able to do it had I not taken some of the detours working in real media along the way. I’ve used all of these rainy, snowy, stormy, wet days of winter to push myself further. But I really am looking forward to spring when I can resume my daily walks outdoors instead of on the treadmill.

Not every image is approached in the same way nor would it require the same steps. This is just a very basic guide for this particular image. However, I have learned that beginning with the “ugly” steps of an underpainting gives me the results that I’m looking for.

Let me know what you think!



  • February 21, 2017 - 3:31 pm

    Joy - This is beautiful Karen! I love how you get so much texture into your paintings!!ReplyCancel

    • March 3, 2017 - 4:14 pm

      pwbykb - thank you Joy Hall, very much ~ReplyCancel

  • February 24, 2017 - 3:03 am

    sher falls - thanx for the lesson! . . . I do soooo love your work, Karen!ReplyCancel

    • March 2, 2017 - 1:36 am

      pwbykb - thank you Sher Falls for stopping by the blog!ReplyCancel

  • March 2, 2017 - 1:36 am

    pwbykb - thank you Joy Hall, very muchReplyCancel

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