Are you familiar with the term, Negative Painting? It is something that I have tried off and on during the course of my painting career, but never with much success. My brain refuses to cooperate and let my paint brush paint outside the lines, so to speak. There are times when painting this way can be beneficial. Such as inside a flower; painting the negative space around the stamens etc instead of painting the flower parts themselves. Also in backgrounds that have layers such as trees or other vegetation.
A few years ago, I purchased a DVD on the subject of negative painting, but I had never watched it until this weekend. Having no particular thing in mind to paint while at the gallery, I picked up the DVD as I headed out to work. This video, "Painting Outside The Lines, a positive approach to negative painting" was produced by Linda Kemp, a well known Canadian watercolorist.
Most of the exercises that I performed and are depicted on this blog are from her video.
I was amazed to watch her do entire paintings using this technique, and what was more amazing is that she never drew a line, which you will notice, that I had to do.
|Negative painting means painting the spaces around the subject|
to form the subject.
Here I have painted a light blue around the 3 circles, which are my subject.
|This is an example of positive painting. I have created the circles by painting them|
and leaving the area around them white.
|To add layers, that is, putting objects behind my first subject, I painted the objects behind|
my subjects a light blue, then painted the background around all the subjects a darker blue
|This demonstration shows the positive way to paint layers|
|In this exercise, I took the negative layering one step further|
|Here is the same thing done in the positive, tho I did not|
make an underpainting here, (tho I could have). I simply painted the 3 trees.
|Back to the negative tree painting, I added another layer of trees,|
and using the same 2 colors painted the spaces around them.
Now we have a forest of trees that has depth.