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Old 07-28-2004, 06:18 PM
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Creating a Forest: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2

Today's lesson was quite different from yesterday's. It was more structured and required a lot more concentration.

Size and Paper: Quarter sheet of 140 lb. cp Arches paper, 11.25"x15"/28 cm x 38 cm
Paint: Winsor & Newton Prussian Green
Additional Paper: Tracing Paper

Step 1: Draw a simplified form of a tree as tall as your watercolor support on a piece of tracing paper. It should be fairly full for the first stage with several branches along its length. When you are satisfied with its shape, cut it out. This is your template for the forest.

Step 2: Draw a small hill or ground shape across the foreground of your paper several inches high. This is where your first two or three trees will be placed (depending if you choose vertical or horizontal layout).

Step 3: Place the tree toward the right side of the paper near the top of the ground area you just drew. Trace around it with a pencil.

Step 4: Flip the template over and place it to the left side of the paper. Trace around it. Only one tree's branches should be in front of the other tree's so decide which one is in front and draw the branches that cross each other accordingly.

Step 5: Time to get your brush wet. Use a 1.5" flat or large round brush to apply a pale wash of whatever color you are using all over the page with vertical brush strokes. While the paint is still damp, spatter paint over the tree trunks with a toothbrush. Dry with a hairdryer.

Step 6: Make a large puddle of the paint you are going to use for the entire painting and paint around the trees and branches. Leave the ground around them the color of the initial wash, leaving some grass shapes along the top. Dry the paper as above.

Step 7: Trim your template to make the tree slimmer. To create a feeling of depth, the trees must get smaller and slimmer as they recede into the forest.

Step 8: Draw another ground shape or hill three or four inches above the first one and the two front trees.

Step 9: Repeat Steps 3 and 4, adding trees between the front ones you've already painted.

Step 10: With the same mixture of paint from the first trees, paint around both the second and first rows of trees. The paint gets progressively darker as you add layers of trees and multiple washes.

Step 11: Repeat Step 8 for a third row of trees.

Step 12: Draw more trees between the front two rows, making the trunks slimmer and varied. Intertwine the branches with those from above. At this stage I found it easier to draw the trees freehand keeping the same general shape as the template.

Step 13: Again paint around all the tree shapes. Here is where you have to really begin to concentrate as you paint the shapes between the branches. It gets a little complicated along about now.

Step 14: Some people stopped at this point with three rows of trees, but I went ahead and added one more row of small trees and another ground layer way back in the forest.

Step 15: I went in with a small brush and added soft shadow lines to separate some of the overlapping branch shapes and define them. You can see it in the very first row where the branches from the left tree overlap those of the right tree. I did the same thing throughout the painting.

This was a very different experience from yesterday's painting. It will appeal to those who like detail work a lot and yet you still get a painterly result.

We discussed various motifs you could use and came up with the idea of an aquarium with kelp leaves and various fish or a cityscape at night with tall buildings and lighted windows. Any other suggestions?


Last edited by painterbear : 06-17-2009 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 07-28-2004, 06:42 PM
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Re: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2—Creating a Forest

Oh Sylvia - what an excellent explanation of this complex process! My mind went blank on suggestions - they'll probably come to me in the middle of the night. Oh, I know - I had tried something similar with bamboo, but it didn't turn out this filmy and luscious. But now I think I'll give it another go.

Debra
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Old 07-28-2004, 07:29 PM
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Re: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2—Creating a Forest

Good job with the instructions....I did this once and still have the painting in my pile somewhere.... LOL
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Old 07-28-2004, 08:14 PM
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Re: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2—Creating a Forest

Another great lesson and lovely painting. I have rated this thread!!!!!
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Old 07-28-2004, 09:07 PM
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Re: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2—Creating a Forest

Thanks, Debra, glad you are feeling inspired. Please be sure to share your painting with us when you are finished.

Thanks, Alan, if you dig it out, be sure to let us see it.

Many thanks, JJ, I appreciate the rating a lot. Glad you find the instructions informative.

Sylvia
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Old 07-28-2004, 09:30 PM
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Re: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2—Creating a Forest

What a great sense of depth this method creates! I like this!
Patty
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Old 07-28-2004, 09:39 PM
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Re: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2—Creating a Forest

Wonderful instructions and excellent painting results. I did something like that once with leaves, but after the second glaze I cheated and masked the completed ones after each layer
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Old 07-28-2004, 11:14 PM
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Re: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2—Creating a Forest

Flamingos? I think I would be cross-eyed by the time I got to row 3.
Connie
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Old 07-29-2004, 01:20 AM
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Re: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2—Creating a Forest

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmwynn
Flamingos? I think I would be cross-eyed by the time I got to row 3.
Connie

What a fun idea! Or maybe purple penguins hobnobbing!

Debra
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Old 07-29-2004, 02:13 AM
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Re: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2—Creating a Forest

Sylvia this another wonderful lesson... thanks for sharing and taking the trouble of writing all this down...

I found this second one much more interesting... I bookmarked these pages as they are so useful... are you going for a couple of more negative painting courses... I am waiting for them ...
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Old 07-29-2004, 05:04 AM
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Re: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2—Creating a Forest

Thanks Patty, Uschi, Connie, Debra, and Vasil. Glad you like my little forest.

Flamingoes and Penguins all in a swirling and twirling group sound like fun, Connie and Debra.

Today is the final day of the Workshop, Vasil. We are going to do some sort of landscape. Will show you it tomorrow.

Thank you all for looking and commenting.

Sylvia
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Old 07-29-2004, 06:14 AM
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Re: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2—Creating a Forest

Hi Sylvia
Yes I agree Well done another valuable lesson and your instructions are great I am looking forward to trying.
Thank you so much
Regards Glenda
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Old 07-29-2004, 11:21 AM
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Re: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2—Creating a Forest

Excellent job with this, my friend!!! Your forest has a lovely, cool atmosphere... very inviting... your negative painting is meticulously done... Bravo!!! I keep getting *lost* when I try this technique... Autumn leaves is very effectively done using Linda's instructions, too... and... how about bubbles????
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Old 07-29-2004, 01:31 PM
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Re: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2—Creating a Forest

I love this! This is exactly the look I am seeking for a painting I want for my living room. I must try this. Thank you for the detailed instructions.
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Old 07-29-2004, 01:46 PM
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Re: Negative Painting Workshop, Day 2—Creating a Forest

Syliva, thank you for both of these instructions, for those of us that would like to learn and try (at some point). Your instructions are very clear but worded so neophytes can learn. Thank you.

I awarded you a mentor point today. I have forgotten about these but they are important to do for someone that is helpful and gracious such as you are.

Thank you.
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