Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rooftops in the Negative

Rooftops at Dusk

Watercolor, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches

I’m still playing around with negative painting. I’ve always been fascinated with rooftops, so I decided to try some negative painting with rooftops. It’s very loosely based on one of my sketches, which is pretty darned loose too. Anyway I like the way this turned out. I’ll have to try some more of these. I might try it a little differently next time though.

This was one of those times that I had a huge ah-ha moment. I haven’t done that much watercolor and I’ve struggled to find a style of my own that I was happy with. But lately I’ve been working on Linda Kemp’s Watercolor Painting Outside the Lines, Jeanne Dobie’s Making Color Sing, and Stephen Quiller’s Color Choices. Even though Stephen Quiller’s book isn’t strictly watercolor, I saw the connection between all of them. I could feel my style mentally taking form. Now all I have to do is find a way to make it take the form of actual paintings. So it looks like more practice is in store.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Negative Painting

Negative Leaf Painting

Leaves, 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, watercolor

I bought Watercolor Painting Outside the Lines by Linda Kemp the other day. I’ve been obsessed with it ever since I got it. It’s only 125 pages but it’s chock full of information and exercises. She covers supplies, paint qualities, underpaintings, negative shapes of objects, how to paint negative shapes, and composition and planning. Even if I decided that I didn’t want to do any more negative painting, I would still get a lot out of this book. The underpainting section seemed a little early and misplaced to me, but she admits at the beginning of the section that she debated where to put it. There’s probably not a perfect place to put it.

If you do get Linda Kemp’s book, be sure to check out her free video lessons at Jerry’s Artarama. There are eight video lessons that coordinate with her book. There’s also a DVD of the book which I haven’t seen. The painting above is one of the exercises from the book. Doing the exercises has been worth it for me. It’s more difficult than it looks. Below is another little exercise from the book, creating landscapes with layers of watercolor washes.

Negative Landscape Painting

Landscape, 5 x 5 1/2 inches, watercolor.

I’m about halfway through the book right now, so I’ll let you know my progress as I go along.