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Landscape Watercolor painting with zentangles : Rainforest Imagery

Zentangles and watercolor are working well together, especially on this large scale forest painting, see the steps I took to paint this painting.

Here are some pictures of the painting process:


I did mount my paper on board before starting to draw and paint as the paper would be too big to manage by itself.

To see a tutorial about mounting paper on board, click here: Mounting watercolor paper on board

After I made a rough outline of the trees on the paper I did start to paint the background foliage.

I did preserve a few whites with masking fluid before starting to paint the foliage wet in wet, letting the colors mix on the paper.


I am painting around the trunks, as their edges are pretty straight, I didn’t need to mask them all with masking fluid. Besides, I like teh effect of  a sometimes uneven edge on the trees trunks.


To paint wet in wet, I am just painting one color next to the previous one while they are still wet and let them mix on the paper.

painting foliage wet in wet with watercolors

At the end of this stage, the painting looks like this.


The next step for me is painting the trunks and the foreground. To paint the trunks I lay the painting on my easel in the most horizontal position my easels allows me to have.


I am setting up the materials next to the easel.


Painting at an angle allows the paint to run and makes really nice textures.


This is what the painting looks like after all the surface has been painted


I am then removing the masking fluid, either by pulling on it,


or by using an eraser. You can also buy a masking fluid pick up tool but I like better using a regular eraser.

You might also be interested in : 6 masking fluid tips


When removing masking fluid, the transitions between the painted paper and the white paper are very hard, and unnatural looking.IMG_5501

I am softening them with a stiff brush and water.


The next step is to add designs with markers, I free hand draw some of the designs.


And for the more complex ones, I am drawing a grid with pencil that I will erase when the design has been completed.

Rainforest imagery, watercolor and zentangles on paper mounted on board

The finished painting: Rainforest Imagery

Original sold, prints available here On Fine Art AmericaOriginal sold, prints available here on Fine Art America

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • nancy

    Sandrine, Love this! But the link to mounting paper to board does not work.

    • Thank you so much for letting me know Nancy, I just fixed the link 🙂

  • Devon

    I love your integration of Zentangle and watercolour! It was actually your blog that introduced me to Zentangle, and for that alone I’ll be forever grateful. I’m such a Zentangle addict now! Your art has also inspired me to combine the two in my own work, though I’ll admit I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet, though I don’t know why. I think it’s because I’m one of those terrible artists who hates to mess up and waste paper, but I’m working on that. I have learned a lot from your blog and look forward to (and enjoy)your newsletters. And your art is beautiful and fantastic! Keep up the great work! Blessings!

    • Thanks Devon, I was very happy to read your comment 🙂
      I feel the same and often I fear that I am going to ruin a piece if I add something more but also that fear is part of what keeps painting exciting for me !

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  • I love most of your work, and enjoy the demos. The end result in this piece, however, gives me the shivers! It reminds me of snakes in the jungle! This is just my reaction! Others may have a different reaction.