Watercolour : what is negative painting ?
All you ever wanted to know about negative painting !
Most painters work using the positive painting.
Discover how an alternative painting-process, named negative painting, can help you to improve your art works.
This lens explains what is negative space, what are the advantages of this technique, how to use it and combine it to positive painting (the most classical method).
Here are a lot of information and videos, written by myself or collected on the web, as well as reference to artist who master this technique and other useful links.
Negative painting (or negative space, or sculpted whites) means that rather than painting the object itself, the painter creates its shape by painting around it. Using this innovative method, artists can create striking and alluring works of art.
Here are a lot of articles, written by myself or collected on the web, as well as some useful links, about this technique.
I will soon add step-by-step demonstrations to help you to learn how to master this alternative approach, to focus on shapes and colours in order to give more dynamism and intensity to your watercolour paintings. So, please, keep in touch !
Any questions ? Do not hesitate to contact me.
1. Articles about negative painting written by myself
Each article is written in French or English. Please scroll up/down the page to find your own language.
- Negative painting
Here is a definition of positive and negative painting in watercolour. Discover the advantages of this technique, see examples about how to combine positive and negative spaces.
- The Harp Player (WIP 4/5)
In this step-by-step demonstration of one of my watercolour paintings, "The Harp Player", the foliage of the bushes and trees was painted in negative. I give you a short, but I hope interesting, introduction about sculpted whites.
2. Practical examples
Here is an overview of art works painted using the negative technique. Each painting-process is written in French or English. Please scroll up/down the page to find your own language.
- Narcissus Jonquilla (watercolour)
For this watercolour, I combined both positive and negative techniques to create more depth, to accentuate the shape and detail of the flowers.
- Tutti Coloria & Snow (watercolour)
The snow area was painted using the negative technique. We firstly painted around it, applying colours to depict the rocks. Each tree was painted in positive, with several colours from different families of paints : staining, mineral and sedimentary
- An Evening in Venice (watercolour)
In this case, the central scene was painted using a combination of positive and negative spaces.
- The Harp Player (WIP 4/5, watercolour)
In this step-by-step demonstration of one of my watercolour paintings, "The Harp Player", the foliage of the bushes and trees was painted in negative.
3. Step-by-step demonstration - How to use negative space to paint flowers ?
I wish to share with you the work-in-progress of my latest watercolour, "Narcissus Jonquillas". Here, you will find the two first steps of my work.
1. I protect key whites with Schmincke's liquid frisket, then I saturate the front of the paper with water. I lay a foundation of soft tints, using a combination of Blockx watercolours : Lemon Yellow, Row Sienna and Cerulean Blue.
2. I establish the first layers of colour using the existing hues of the underpainting and Ultramarine Violet. I work from the foreground to the background and let each layer dry before applying the next glaze. I paint in negative all around the flowers and, as you see, the first shapes begin to appear.
To learn more about this work-in-progress, please visit my art blog at http://walkonwater.canalblog.com/ (category : The Watercolourist's Notes).
Painting outside the lines with Linda Kemp
From ArtistsNetwork.TV : This extraordinary video is a fully-comprehensive guide to negative painting.
Negative painting is an alternative approach to traditional painting styles. Working in the negative isn't hard to master, it's a simple shift in the way you see! Whether you are a beginner or an accomplished artist wanting to learn something new, you'll enjoy trying Linda's negative painting techniques.
See the whole video at http://www.ArtistsNetwork.TV.
5. Reference books
Are you looking for a book about negative painting ?
I hope that my reviews will help you to make the good choice, for a good investment.
For each book, you will find an objective review as well as a summary of its contents.
Each review is written in French or English. Please scroll up/down the page to find your own language.
- Watercolor ... Painting Outside the Lines (by Linda Kemp)
A review of Linda Kemp's book : "Watercolor Painting Outside the Lines : A Positive Approach to Negative Painting". 128 pages, North Light Books. English (US).
6. Great Stuff about negative painting on Amazon - Books, DVD's, ...
Beginning and advanced artists will benefit from the negative painting concepts presented in "Watercolor Painting Outside the Lines". Author Linda Kemp shares her techniques for using the strength of negative space to create alluring paintings. Exercises featuring landscapes, florals, and motifs from nature give readers the skills and knowledge necessary to make their next watercolour a strinking piece of art.
Discover Linda Kemp's technique on DVD.
7. Other useful links
- Linda Kemp's website
Linda Kemp is internationally recognized for her unique contemporary watercolours and innovative use of negative painting and glazing. Her paintings and articles have been featured in American Artist, International Artist, Watercolor Magic, Watermedi
- Negative Space in a Painting
Marion Body Evans explores this technique, providing interesting definitons, illustrations and links : - What is negative space ? - Why bother with negative space ? - Using negative space to improve composition. - A simple exercise in seeing nega
- Reference to negative painting on Wikipedia
However the content of this article seems incomplete , the definition of negative space is well explained for beginners.
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