This week the vases went from this craziness ...
But then I did some research and found out what I did wrong. I should have started with an underpainting using opaque colors (or opaque black and white, like I did with the teacups). I knew that, but I thought I could do multiple layers of transparent colors, as you do with watercolors. The problem is how to make them pastel. If you lighten by mixing it white with a transparent (like I tried with the pink pitcher) that makes it opaque.
So then, before I threw it in the trash I put opaque on what I had and I got this:
What I’ve ended up doing is to paint it all backward, transparent then opaque instead of the right way. But I kind of like it. I think I need to add depth and color to the pink pitcher and tidy up the top corners of the right pitcher.
Of course, given that I put a thick opaque layer over a thin transparent layer it will peel and crack and not last for centuries, but that is a blessing.