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A little Birdie told me, watercolor portrait and zentangle

A little Birdie told me, Watercolor and mixed media on paper, 26 x 21 inches Click on image to purchase Original or Print

A little Birdie told me,
Watercolor and mixed media on paper,
26 x 21 inches



This is my latest watercolor and mixed media portrait.

To see a gallery of Portraits on my website, click here.

I wanted to see if I could integrate zentangles in a watercolor painting. This is my own version of zentangles as zentangles are usually done in black but I wanted a softer color in the background so it would blend in more.

watercolor painting palette

This is my painting palette: Daniel Smith French Ochre, Da Vinci Cadmium Yellow and Sap Green, Holbein Horizon Blue, Ultramarine Blue,Permanent Red, Permanent Alizarin Crimson


palette wells

I mix a bit of paint with water in each of my palette wells.


drawing on watercolor paper

I am drawing a rough outline of the shapes on my paper, that has been previously stretched.


Preserving whites with masking fluid

I just have a few areas to preserve with masking fluid


preserving whites

The white of the eyes on the portrait


preserving areas with masking fluid

And the bird legs so I can paint the hood more easily.


painting the sky

I start by painting the sky with horizon Blue paint.


layering watercolors

I will paint the portrait by layering colors, I am starting with Cadmium Yellow


Painting the red layer

Then red.


Painting the background

I am also starting to paint the lighter green areas in the background.


blue watercolor layer

I paint the last blue layer on the portrait and finish a rough painting of the trees in the background.


painting the bird red

Then I paint the bird a bright red and will start by covering it in zentangles using a 0.5 black marker.


zentangle bird

Here is the zentangled bird, I also added a few drips.


watercolor and zentangle

I am also zentangling the background, this time with a thicker grey marker


zentangle patterns

I am using a few different patterns


Zentangle patterns

Zentangle patterns



Zentangle patterns

Zentangle patterns

Zentangle patterns. I also want to leave some areas with just the paint and not zentangle on the whole painting.


A little birdie told me

A little Birdie told me,
Watercolor and mixed media on paper,
26 x 21 inches
Click on image to purchase Original or Print

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{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Pauline May 28, 2014, 5:13 am

    Thanks Sandrine, I continue to enjoy your work and its unique creativity, really lovely. I intend to start on a project on small canvases with multi portraits next – will get a lot of help from your instuctions. Thanks again!
    Best Wishes Pauline

  • Pauline August 27, 2013, 10:00 am

    Absolutley love ypur work Sandrine, loving “a little bird told me” I love painting birds wish I could paint them better!

    I am ready to try with your marvellous tutorial By the way, postage to UK same price as the print, I will have to find another way!
    Congratulations on an interesting and beautiful piece of work

    • Sandrine Pelissier August 27, 2013, 7:06 pm

      Thanks Pauline for your nice comment :)
      I have a PDF version of the printed books available that is less expensive and you wouldn’t have to pay any postage. It annoys me too when I have to pay as much shipping as the value of what is being shipped :)

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