Painting Styles

I’m sufficiently inspired now and I hope others have taken inspiration from some of my posts too.

Negative painting – okay, that’s a method that really scares me. I understand the principles behind it and exactly how it’s done, but doing negative painting is something I always seem to struggle with. I forget what I’ve planned to paint around, I mess up the shape I’m trying to achieve, etc. I even remember the first time I “got it.” I was in a class several years ago taught by my friend and fellow Spokane Watercolor Society member, Sue, in which she did a quick demo and it suddenly made sense to me. The easy way I was told to remember it is: If the object is darker than its surroundings, it’s positive painting; if it’s lighter, it’s negative painting-it’s just that simple. Or is it? Technically, yes it is, but in practice I find it much more complex. My most successful artwork with negative painting was done in her class that day (and it wasn’t that good). While I still know the “how,” I don’t seem to be able to DO very well. Here is one lesson I have found:

The following is the one I’m working from. It starts with an underwash, some large splatters and negative painting to complete it. That tutorial is one I found on Wetcanvas: It’s a really fun lesson and so far things are going fairly well, but now it’s time for the darkest darks, painting around the already established daisies to make stems, leaves and other background shapes. That is usually where I mess up…and I have put off continuing with this painting for about a week so far.

I got past the darks and here is the finished painting. I’m showing you both a before and an after. Not my best work by any means, but actually I don’t hate it-and for a negatively painted piece I’m okay with that!

daisies negative unfinishedpainting-resizedforweb   daisies negative painting-PS-resizedforweb