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Knitting the Wind, Painting a tree with mixed media

painting a tree with mixed media

Knitting the Wind,
Mixed media on canvas
48 x 48 inches


I wanted a different perspective to paint that tree, a bit as if you were taking a nap there. I also was thinking about yarn bombing and that was my inspirations for the colors on the branches as well as for the title, this and the fact that the intricate branches are making the wind go around them in complicated motions as if they were knitting the wind.


I start by drawing the tree on canvas with pencil.

I start by drawing the tree on canvas with pencil.

first layer of diluted red acrylic ink

I am starting by a first layer of diluted red acrylic ink, I am making sure that the drawing is still visible under the successive layers of paint.


second layer of yellow acrylic

I am then painting a second layer of yellow acrylic paint with some blue in the lower part, then I paint a third layer of white acrylic


green underpainting on the tree

To make sure I can still see my drawing, I am painting the tree with green acrylic, that will act as an under-painting.



painting with ink and liquid acrylic

I paint the tree with a mix of China Ink and red liquid acrylic. I spray some parts with water or alcohol to add some textural effect on the branches.

red liquid acrylic

red liquid acrylic

white negative painting

I paint another layer of white acrylic on the background working around the branches.


pencil scribbling

I then fill out the background by scribbling with a pencil.



dry pastels

I want to try different colour combinations with dry pastels


trying colors with pastels

I find the tree a bit too dark so I am trying different combinations with dry pastels


fixing pastels

Fixing the pastels with workable fixative will cause most light colors to almost disappear.


painting a tree with mixed media

I am adding colors on the branches with acrylic paints



Here is a stop motion movie showing the painting process:


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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Shelley Whiting July 18, 2015, 3:48 pm

    I love the painting. I love the unusual perspective as well as the multi color look of the tree. Wonderful work.

  • Andrew January 11, 2014, 7:46 am

    Hi, lovely painting!

    AlThough I am confused why you painted three background colours and then pencil only to cover it again in white. Were you experimenting and deciding on the final background or did I miss something. I’m just going back to painting after 7 years as an art dealer so I am interested in your technique.

    Cheers Andrew

    • Sandrine Pelissier January 11, 2014, 8:37 am

      Thanks Andrew :)
      Sometimes I need to see on the painting how it looks like before I know if I like it or if I want to change my mind. This is the case here, I was going with a coloured background and then decided it was competing too much with the trees and went for something more simple. Also when I sprayed the tree branches, the background was starting to look dirty so that was a way of cleaning up. My technique is really a test and trial technique and the consequence is that there might be a few unnecessary steps I have to go through but I like to think they are still somehow be visible like in some edges, in the finished painting.
      Glad to hear you are going back to painting :)

  • iva miller September 2, 2013, 9:20 am

    Terry Ann the Wind video was very good. Enjoyed it. I am a fan…my sister is the artist. ..I am the one who admires the art..Thank you for sharing your talents…

  • Ron Larter April 3, 2013, 4:24 pm

    I like your style. I can almost feel the colours and textures within me. Beautiful artwork.

  • Holly Herick March 19, 2013, 8:34 am

    I found this process very fun to watch and read about. I always enjoy your blog. Thanks—Holly

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