Saturday, December 16, 2017

Negative Painting - An Introduction (In 5 Steps!)

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As artists, we draw and paint many complex things using complex techniques but when we get back to some simple and basic stuff, it really makes one feel good...more so it's POSITIVELY FUN! It's again a validation of the fact that joy can be found in simplest of things.

What is negative painting?

Negative painting is painting around the subject than painting the subject itself. You are actually adding by subtracting. You move from lighter to darker as you go creating an illusion of depth and distance. It a process of layering...lighter layer to darker layer to the darkest.




It’s actually fun as you don’t need to be an expert at painting to do a negative painting. You just pick up some forms, shapes and paint around it. Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy.

  • When you start, you could just sketch some shapes, forms and start painting around it.
  • Watercolour seems to be the best medium for it because of its transparency and the glow that it would apparently provide.
  • No details needed just blocking out the shapes.
  • Let each layer dry before you apply the next layer.

How to do a negative painting?

Things needed:

Handmade paper (You can use any watercolour paper/textured paper etc)
Colours used - Lemon yellow, Gamboge hue, Ultramarine blue and Cobalt blue hue. (I have used Camlin Artists' watercolour cakes)

1. Firstly I dampened the paper and glided my brush loaded with lemon yellow and then gamboge hue across the paper for the background. Lifted off some paint with tissue paper as I wanted a pale look. (At this point I was thinking what shape to draw. If I had made up my mind on fish beforehand I wouldn't have painted with these colours though. I was actually thinking of flowers while painting this background!)

Unexpectedly I decided on fish and thought of going along with it as the yellow was pale and so drew some fish forms here.


2. I painted the next layer with ultramarine blue but very lightly around the fish.


3. The next layer I used cobalt blue hue after adding a couple more fish.


4. Again I added a few more fish and painted the fourth layer using ultramarine blue. 


5. The fifth layer I mixed cobalt blue hue and a tinge of black after adding a some more fish.


And that's done!

I have used just 5 layers here (the steps are 6 because I added the fish . You could use less or many more layers depending on the size of your work.

These two are my first and second attempts which was done simultaneously. They have just 3 and 2 layers respectively and are done on regular postcards.

 with Gamboge hue, Orange and Scarlet

with Sap green and Emerald green

These 2 designs were inspired from pictures I saw while browsing.

Linda Kemp is a Canadian artist who has some fabulous negative paintings to her credit. She is an instructor in Artists Network and you can find some good videos of hers in YouTube. You can check out her works there. There are two other artists' whose art I really love and both of them have done some negative paintings too and they have taken it to a different altitude! It's Iraville and Pearfluer - checkout these videos...

Hope you enjoyed this post. Do leave me your feedback.

If you wish to check out my earlier postcard series you can click HERE.

Linking it to the Gorgeous PPF community!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Postcard Series - Finale!

Last of my postcard series with Derwent Inktense Blocks and I have completed all 14. Though I have shown only 12 as the view-denied two haven't reached my satisfaction. And let me tell you this is not a sponsored post of Derwent. I bought these Inktense blocks sometime back and finally put them to use. That's it. It was definitely fun putting it all together and once I decided that I would want to paint landscapes (mini,of course) the rest was easy.

The landscapes below are two of my favourite places - the first is my hometown, Palakkad, and the second is near to my second home, Fort Kochi, one of the most beautiful and artsy places in India. I have not been able to capture the unabridged beauty of the places though! Like always the picture is accompanied by my micro-poems.

Want to see my earlier postcard art? It's here - Part1, Part2 and Part3.

Swirling and giggling
Fields, once thronging
Less and less to be seen
Amid the concrete jungle
Building up like weeds
Depending on neighbours
For pesticide food
Neglecting our own granaries. 

Setting Sun
Reminds us
Of settling 'spaces'
Everyday, every time
To a new beginning.


Linking it to Paint Part Friday! Kudos to the Amazing Ladies in PPF!