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Negative Painting - a Positive Outcome

March 18, 2019

Every so often I like to deliberately move out of my comfort zone and try something entirely different. This can be as simple as a range of colours, mediums or supports that are new to me or to take inspiration from someone whose work I admire and to try some exercises in their style. So after a few weeks of feeling that I was getting stuck in a formula I decided to take a serious look at negative painting and in particular the work of Linda Kemp http://www.lindakemp.com/ and the Facebook group of https://www.facebook.com/groups/addictedtonegativepainting/


The picture above is one of my first attempts and is painted negatively - ie this means that you paint the spaces around the item and create the form in that manner rather than painting the item itself. So in this picture I have just used well diluted Perylene Green watercolour and started with the 3 tree forms in the front row, filling in everything other than the trunks and limbs with a layer of paint. When the first layer is totally dry I then created the second layer of trees by painting around the trunks and limbs and ensuring that all the branches ran behind the front row! the second layer of paint creates the darkness and illusion of depth. It becomes quite complex to make sure you don't accidentally paint across a branch or trunk from the trees in front.


In the next blog post I'll give an three step demo of negative painting for anyone who wants to give this intriguing approach a go.


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