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Tugboats : Painting seascapes with watercolor, a step by step painting tutorial


Tugboats, watercolor and mixed media on paper, 15 x 22 inches

watercolor and mixed media on paper,
15 x 22 inches,



My latest Watercolor and mixed media on paper, I used the Aquarius paper by Strathmore and Yarka watercolors, a bit of white gouache and watercolor crayons.


Tugboats : Painting seascapes with watercolor, a step by step painting tutorial



drawing on paper before painting with watercolors

After wetting and stretching the paper on a board, I transfer my drawing.

reserving the whites with liquid frisket

I am reserving the whites with a bit of liquid frisket.

masking tape on watercolor painting

I am starting by a wet in wet wash for the sky, using some masking tape to preserve the white on the right side of the painting.

painting a seascape with watercolor

Then I start painting the different areas directly, trying to use each color in different areas of the painting.

watercolor painting techniques

I keep on applying colors, paying attention to edges alterning soft and hard edges.

taking off liquid frisket

After painting most areas, I remove the liquid frisket.

watercolor crayons painting

Anticipating the next step where I splash water on the paper, I accentuate some areas with watercolor crayons. The areas where I add crayon will show more colors in the next step.

splashing water on watercolor painting

Here comes the splashing step, I like the element of chance and textures it is adding to the painting.

white gouache on watercolor

I want to accentuate a bit some white areas, so I am using a bit of white gouache for this.

painting a seascape, watercolor painting lesson

Tugboats, the finished painting

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{ 20 comments… add one }

  • Titus February 16, 2015, 12:47 pm

    Thanks very interwsting blog!

  • Debra Gow July 30, 2013, 7:41 am

    as always very well done, and by the way congrads on the piece in International Artist Mag, one of my favorite paintings of yours. You go girl!

  • laurendahl88 April 16, 2012, 3:57 am

    I love how you show your process, not just the final product. Your watercolor paintings are awesome. I paint with oils and acrylics, watercolor was always very difficult for me because it’s almost like working backwards. Great blog!

    • Sandrine Pelissier April 16, 2012, 6:33 am

      Thanks Laurendahl88, yes you are right working with watercolor requires to think a different way, starting with what you will see less and finishing with the darker colors.

  • gilabert henri April 11, 2012, 9:17 am

    félicitations de la part de ton “oncle” Henri… tu as un vrai talent !

  • lesliepaints April 11, 2012, 7:42 am

    Excellent composition! … and the red; I love the red!

  • Richa Kedia April 10, 2012, 11:24 pm

    U’re impressive with water colors! Most of the times i mess this medium up!!

  • Tres Zapotes April 10, 2012, 7:15 pm

    Hi there,

    I really like what you did with this painting, I am working on developing my water color and gouache technique…

    Great work….


  • zeebradesigns April 10, 2012, 2:02 pm

    Do you EVER produce a bad painting?!!! As always, I’m impressed! Z

    • Sandrine Pelissier April 11, 2012, 10:15 am

      Hi zebradesigns, I do produce bad paintings, a lot :-)… I am not showing them here :-)

  • Paprika April 10, 2012, 9:09 am

    awesome and inspiring!!! =) one day I hope to draw as good as you =) thanks for sharing… =)

  • elev8design April 10, 2012, 8:11 am

    Thanks for sharing! Looks awesome :)

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