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Knitting the Wind, painting a mixed media tree step by step

Painting a tree in mixed media on ARTiful, painting demos by Sandrine Pelissier
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Knitting the Wind, painting a mixed media tree step by step

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 these were 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.

You might also like: Zentangle trees : Rainforest Imagery

Here are the steps you can take to paint a mixed media tree

detailed drawing of the tree with graphite on canvas

I start by making a detailed drawing the tree on canvas with pencil.

first light wash of acrylic paint on the mixed media tree painting

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

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

Golden High Flow Acrylics

Incredibly flexible, Golden High Flow Acrylics have an ink-like consistency that lends itself to a wide range of techniques painting, drawing, staining, glazing, inking, hand-lettering, airbrushing, and more. – High Flow Colors, Set of 10

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. Working with layers let me try different options and allows me to build complex colors.

green underpainting on the mixed media 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 the tree with India ink and liquid acrylic and spraying with alcohol

For the next step, I am painting 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.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

Speedball Super Black Waterproof India Ink

“Super black” means its blackness will be very permanent and fadeless. Contains 100% carbon black pigment. Also free-flowing, non-clogging, and waterproof.

rad acrylic ink can be mixed with India ink

Red liquid acrylic ink can be mixed with Indian ink.

painting the background around the mixed media tree branches

I paint another layer of white acrylic on the background working around the branches to clean up a bit the painting as I have to much ink smudging.

pencil scribbling for the background of the mixed media tree

I then fill out the background by scribbling with a pencil on all the mixed media tree background.

trying ideas with dry pastels on an acrylic painting

I want to try different colour combinations with dry pastels. The advantage of trying ideas with pastels is that you can fix the pastel if you like the result and you can just wash it off if you want to try a different idea.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

Prismacolor NuPastel Color Sticks

NuPastels have a rich, creamy texture that blends and shades easily. Frequently used in advertising layouts, NuPastels are stronger than ordinary soft pastels, which means less breakage and easier cleanup. Use them to create broad strokes and fine lines.

trying colors with pastels on an acrylic painting

I find the tree a bit too dark so I am trying different combinations with dry pastels. I feel free to test ideas as I can just wash off the pastel if I don’t like the result.

fixing pastels with fixative on the mixed media painting will darken most of the pastel colors

Fixing the pastels with workable fixative will darken most of the pastels colors. You can also paint over the pastel with acrylic if you find it has darkened too much with the fixative.

painting a tree with mixed media

I am adding colors on the branches with acrylic paints.

painting a tree with mixed media by North Vancouver artist Sandrine Pelissier

The finished painting

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

buy prints by North Vancouver artist Sandrine Pelissier

Original is sold, click here to buy a print

Here is a stop motion movie showing the painting process:

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Comments (15)

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

    1. Thanks Shelley for your very nice comment!

  2. […] Knitting the windmixed media on canvas48 x 48 inches […]

  3. […] Sandrine Pelissier on Knitting the Wind, Painting a tree with mixed media […]

  4. Andrew

    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

    1. 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 🙂

  5. iva miller

    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…

  6. […] Knitting the Wind, mixed media on canvas […]

  7. […] Knitting the Wind, mixed media on canvas […]

  8. […] Knitting the Wind, mixed media on canvas […]

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

    1. Thanks Ron, I appreciate it 🙂

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

    1. Thanks Holly 🙂

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