birch trees, mixed media, collage art tutorial

birch trees, mixed media art tutorial, gallery juana
birch trees, mixed media art tutorial

I have never used alcohol as a treatment for watercolor and wanted to try it out recently. Here is a step by step tutorial for my collage of trees.

  • watercolor paper
  • alcohol
  • watercolors
  • acrylic painted tissue paper
  • acrylics
  • sandpaper
  • matte medium

Step One

watercolor and alcohol effect, gallery juana
sepia watercolor and alcohol

I washed a layer of sepia watercolor onto the paper and dropped alcohol onto the paper. The watercolor formed rings where the alcohol interrupted its flow. It looked like some alien ships flying in space and then it reminded me of knots on birch trees.

Step Two

painted tissue paper added

I cut the watercolor paper into two 3 x 3 inch squares which would now be the support for my collage. Searching through my stash of painted tissue papers, I found one with a titin Buff-ish color and glued that to my supports. You can see a hint of the rings showing through the tissue paper.

Step Three

art tutorial, gallery juana
sandpapered and added color

Next, I sandpapered some of the tissue paper off to allow the rings on the support to show through more. I added acylics to separate the background from the foreground. Right image above photo shows sandpaper effect only while the left image shows both the sandpaper and acrylic steps.

Step Four

art tutorial, gallery juana
color added to background

I continued to add acylics to separate the background from the foreground. I also painted parts of the trees to bring out the rings and give the trees form. I also added a bit of black pen to highlight the knots and twists in the trees.

Finished Result
birch trees, gallery juana
birch trees, 3 x 3 inches, mixed media collage

joining sunday sketches


  1. Wow! Great results from your various techniques ~ creation looks very life like ~ thanks for the tutorial ~ Happy SS ~ ^_^

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  2. absolutely gorgeous
    so wonderful that you shared how you did it!

  3. Cool! I've never used alcohol with watercolors, so I'm fascinated with what you did. Blessings!

  4. These look amazing...very realistic. Thanks for sharing your process. Happy SS!

  5. GORGEOUS results, Juana... what a fantastic technique!! Just love the depth of texture and richness you've created. I've used alcohol a couple of times with watercolor, but haven't revisited that in a while--probably because of the smell... LOL! This HUGELY inspires though... Happy Days ((HUGS))

  6. Thank you everyone.
    I was surprised at how easy the alcohol technique was to use.

    Tracy, true that alcohol has a distinct smell and I could see how it would be bothersome to some. I am sensitive to chemical smells, but the alcohol one doesn't bother me:)

  7. Wonderful, wonderful work, Juana. I feel like I learned a bit from you regarding trees today. Love this. Thank you for sharing this technique with us. :)


Post a Comment

I very much appreciate your visit and comments.

Popular Posts