I think an art form that doesn’t get nearly enough recognition is negative painting.
–No, I don’t mean like when you’re grumpy but you’re STILL painting, I’m talking about painting in your negative space first and letting it outline your subject!
This week’s project is VERY mixed media: watercolor, acrylic paint, and ink!
To make this negative painting adventure more interesting, I decided to channel Robert Burridge and his method of abstract floral painting by creating my flower shapes and then painting in around them.
As my ground, I went with Yupo Paper because of its sturdiness and repellant reaction to watercolor.
(Don’t worry about getting paint on your artboard, that can be covered up later!)
While everything was still wet–which was a good while, since Yupo is totally waterproof–I dripped some drops of rubbing alcohol because I knew it made cool, instant effects thanks to last week’s blog post.
Pretty solid flower shapes, if you ask me!
Once that had time to dry, I picked out my favorite shapes and drew circles around them so that I’d know where to paint in the negative space.
Graphite did great because it’s not terribly noticeable, but still stood out enough for me to know where the borders were.
With my flowers, stems, and vase outlined, I started in on the negative space with some Joe’s Prime Really Good Gesso.
When you apply more paint, the watercolor has a tendency to pick back up unless you seal it with something beforehand–which is something I forgot about… So I just packed the gesso on really heavily and made as few repeating brush strokes as possible.
If you’d like to avoid this headache, I recommend using Krylon Workable Fixative or some other type of heavy-duty spray sealer. Just make sure it absolutely seals your painting, otherwise it’ll come up the second any kind of moisture hits it.
So, I put down a layer of gesso and let it dry.
Once that dried, I went in with a smaller brush and got into the detailed parts around my flowers.
After another coat of gesso all around, I had this:
It was at this point that I decided to try a fixative
When all of the gesso dried, I took a little Joe’s Green and very gently applied it to the stems of my flowers, and mixed up some Taylor’s Flamingo Pink and Indanthrone Blue to make a violet for the inside of the flowers.
The overlays of colors on the texture made by the alcohol ended up looking awesome!
When the ink dried, I added just a few more finishing touches with the gesso and painted the exposed artboard to match.
Here’s the finished product!
This project gave me a bit of grief at times, but I’m very happy with the end result.
I think I need to play around a little more with Yupo to really get a handle on it.
If any of you have tips for ME, please leave them in the comments below! I’d really love to hear your success stories and see some of your work!
Have a great weekend!