Try This: A Mixed-Media Painting In 4 Steps

The idea of painting can be overwhelming for beginners, especially those who are new to drawing. But don’t let that hold you back. There are ways to learn how to paint with watercolor so that you can convey a message, evoke a certain feeling or simply paint a subject expressively and loosely, without feeling married to specific details that normally begin with a formal drawing.

In the book Fearless Watercolor for Beginners, Sandrine Pelissier shares a wide variety of step-by-step lessons that take the intimidation out of painting with watercolor, especially for those who are picking up a brush for the first time. See what I mean in this mixed-media demonstration from her book (order it today and save with a bonus Watercolor Artist subscription).

Peony (mixed media) by Sandrine Pelissier | Demo at

Peony (mixed media on paper mounted on canvas, 12×12) by Sandrine Pelissier. Pin this step-by-step!

Drawing With Watercolor Pencils and Pastels by Sandrine Pelissier

When painting, you can easily become lost in details and find it difficult to paint in a looser, softer way. This technique allows the “precise” painter to give up some control by allowing the water to move the paint in unpredictable ways. The successive layers of pastels and watercolor allow for added definition within a ghost image.

Mixed media step-by-step by Sandrine Pelissier |

1. Outline Your Design (above, left)
Draw the outline of your design with graphite on paper.

2. Color the Design With Watercolor Pencils (above, right)
Color the different sections with dry watercolor pencil. Remember, you can layer different colors to make color mixes.

Mixed media step-by-step by Sandrine Pelissier |

3. Spray the Drawing With Water (above, left)
Spray your drawing with water and let the colors move freely. Allow the paper and the pigments to dry.

4. Define and Finish With Pastels (above, right)
Refine your image by using whatever medium you like: washes of watercolor, more watercolor pencil, acrylics or pastels. Pastels are convenient as they allow you to paint light on dark and retrieve some light in your painting–something you can’t do with watercolor.

Painting with watercolor and combining it with other media is within your reach. Start with Fearless Watercolor for Beginners, and keep the inspiration going all year with a Watercolor Artist subscription.

Yours in art,

Cherie Haas, online editor

**Free download! Mixed Media Techniques: 3 Step-by-Step Art Projects
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