painting a forest with watercolor: step by step painting tutorial

Out of the blue: A forest painted with watercolor in shades of green and blue

by Sandrine Pelissier on June 18, 2013

in New work, Painting technique, Step by step demonstrations

Out of the Blue Watercolor on paper 17 x 29 inches

Out of the Blue
Watercolor on paper
17 x 29 inches
CAD 650




My latest watercolor on paper, I painted this one section by section from left to right, mixing colors wet in wet and adding a lot of splattering towards the end.

starting with a precise drawing

I am starting by stretching my watercolor paper ( Arches hot press 140 lb) on a stretcher, and then I am leaving it to dry. I then make a precise drawing of the trees.

preserving white areas

Then I preserve all the white areas with liquid frisket. This is taking a long time but will allow me to paint freely and faster without having to go around tiny areas of white.

watercolor palette

This is my painting palette: Daniel Smith Burnt Sienna, Reeves Payne’s grey, Holbein Cobalt Turquoise, Da Vinci Prussian blue, sap green,permanent red and cadmium lemon, Van Gogh Madder Lake Light.

painting the trees

I am starting to paint, one area at a time. mixing colors wet in wet

I am making my way along the painting.

I am making my way along the painting.

using a limited palette

I am using a very limited palette with mainly blue, green and brown.

painting is done

When I am done painting, I lay the painting flat on the floor and will splash it with 2 different watercolor washes.

watercolor mixes

I make 2 watercolor mixes.


I then splatter the painting heavily using some droppers. This time I am leaving the liquid resist on while I am splattering as I want to keep my white area crisp and well defined.

Here is a time lapse video that shows the painting process:



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara Koepsell July 17, 2013 at 5:49 am

Thanks for the demos – I love to look and see how other artists work and the end results can be
helpful and insightful for future work.


Sandrine Pelissier July 17, 2013 at 7:18 am

Thanks Barbara :)


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