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Embroidered Forest, Watercolor, Acrylics and zentangles painting tutorial

drawing with sharpie on top of acrylic paint

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Embroidered Forest Watercolor, acrylic and markers on canvas. 24 x 72 inches

Embroidered Forest
Watercolor, acrylic and markers on canvas.
24 x 72 inches

The triptych in the studio

The triptych “Embroidered Forest” in the studio

 

I have been incorporating patterns and designs into my paintings for some time now and this is a direction I am continuing to explore. I wanted to paint a quite large forest triptych while integrating some patterns that would be visible from close but less obvious from a distance as too not overpower the general design of the picture.

Here are the steps I took:

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masking fluid on canvas

I started by a rough outline of the tree shapes with pencil on canvas.. Masking fluid works well on canvas but will lift off any watercolor that was previously painted. As I want most of my highlights white, this is not an issue in this case.

 

background with watercolor wet in wet

I start by painting the background with watercolors. wet in wet, letting the different shades of yellow and green mix on the canvas.

 

yellow liquid acrylic layer

For the trees trunks, I want to achieve rich and broken colors by layering primaries. This is difficult to do with watercolors on canvas as they will lift off easily, so I switch to liquid acrylics. My first layer is a lemon yellow.

 

red liquid acrylic layer

The next layer is red, still painted with liquid acrylics. Depending on the final shade I want on the trunk, I paint a different number of layers to make it darker.

 

blue liquid acrylic layer

The next layer I am painting is blue.

 

layering liquid acrylic

I keep on adding layers until I am satisfied with the resulting color.

 

lightening some areas

Making a very light glaze with white acrylic and medium, I am lightening some of the trees in the background to have them recede . The mix is whiter when wet and just applied than when dried.

 

drawing design on the canvas

When everything has dried, I start drawing designs on the canvas, I am drawing a different design for each tree.

 

drawing with sharpie on top of acrylic paint

I am using sharpie markers and copic markers.
When the background color is light I choose a light design.

 

Copic markers on top of acrylic paint

When the background color is darker I am choosing a design with more black.

 

I am using a variety of designs.

I am drawing a variety of designs.

 

designs on tree trunks

detail.

 

Embroidered Forest Watercolor, acrylic and markers on canvas. 24 x 72 inches

Embroidered Forest
Watercolor, acrylic and markers on canvas.
24 x 72 inches

Here is a stop motion video showing the painting process:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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