Saturday, November 24, 2012

WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP: Negative Painting a Radial Design




Do you ever have days that you just want to paint for fun, but don't have the time or energy to plan it, or set up a still life, or find reference material, or think about your color palette?

If so, this painting project is perfect for those days.  You can look at a multi-petaled flower, if you like (mums, dahlias, zinnias, daisies) -- just to get the shape of the individual petals.  But, then, put away any references, so you don't get too hung up on making your drawing/painting look exactly like the flower.


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To download a PDF of this Tutorial, for $6, you can click here.  

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To begin this painting, wet your paper, and then paint the entire area with a very light wash.  I started with Quinacridone Gold.  Make sure it is very pale for this first wash. . . 






After your paper is completely dry, draw a tiny little circle, a little off center.  Now, draw an odd number of petals, radiating out from the little circle. . . 







Using the same color you used for your underpainting, in this case, Quinacridone Gold, mix up a big batch.  You will be painting wet-on-dry, so you'll need plenty of paint/water to cover all the negative space . . . (this should be just a little less pale than the first wash).  If it's not pale enough, add more water.  







To paint your wash over the negative space, use two brushes.  Start with a small round brush, so you can easily paint around the petal shapes . . . 







Once you have successfully painted around the petals, switch to a larger brush . . . 








Keep painting this wash, until you've covered all the negative space . . . 









After the paper is totally dry, draw some more petals -- vary the shapes somewhat, as well as the spaces between the petals. . . 









Using the same wash, with additional water added, plus more Gold pigment, paint the negative space -- wet on dry.  Remember to use your small brush to paint around the petals, and to switch to your bigger brush to paint the rest of the negative space.









After this dries, draw more petals, remembering to vary the shape and the length of each petal, as well as the spaces between the petals.  Let some petals touch, to form interesting little negative shapes. . . 


            






Then, paint the negative space again.  This time, add a little Quinacridone Burnt Orange or Burnt Sienna to your Gold wash.  No need to go too dark, too fast.

When that wash is dry, add more petals. . . 









Paint the negative space, wet on dry, with a wash that is mostly Quinacridone Burnt Orange or Burnt Sienna now . . . 









Once again, let that layer dry completely, and then draw some more petals . . . 









For this layer, use a wash of Quinacridone Burnt Orange or Burnt Sienna . . . 









Draw some more petals, taking some of them off the edge of the paper.  To your Burnt Sienna mixture, add some Quinacridone Magenta, and paint the negative shapes. . . 










Add more petals, and another layer of Quin. Burnt Orange/ Quin. Magenta mixture to the negative space. . . 










You can keep adding more petals and more layers of washes, as long as you want -- until you run out of paper. . . 








Try this same concept, using blues or roses, and differently-shaped petals.  You could also draw the petals bigger and wider for each layer.

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To download a pdf of this tutorial, for $6, you can  click here.  
That way, you can easily print it out, with one step and one image per page, 
to have next to you, as you paint.


You can also get three tutorials, for $15, 
The three Negative Painting Tutorials are:
1) Trees, 2) Aspen Leaves, & 3) Zinnia (Radial Design)






3 comments:

  1. awesome! It's true haven't seen you put much painting up here in a while, but really sweet!
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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I know, I've been lax about posting my painting tutorials. Sorry -- will have to remedy that! But, thank you for your nice comment.

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  2. I teach watercolors and negative painting and some students really have trouble with the concept. This is a great way to teach it and to just practice glazing. One of my students sent it to me along with her painting. I'm away for the winter and looking for ways to keep my students painting until I get back. Thanks. I can already see so many varriations!

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