Welcome to February!
Spring is around the corner!
This watercolor tutorial is done with no pencil drawing
and we will be learning how to paint negative flowers and leaves with imaginary backgrounds.
FIRST of all, we will make 'splats' for our flower centers. On 7" x 11" dry Arches 140 lb cold press paper laying flat, use the largest round brush you have. I used #38. Load fully with wet burnt sienna, raw sienna, or quinacridone burnt orange (QBO). Hold your brush as high as possible and let the paint fall onto the paper at random for flower centers. (I stood on a chair but it's not necessary)
Your splats should resemble this:
Be sure and let totally dry.
NEXT we'll establish a light background wash using pale yellow aureolin along with quinacridone gold on dry paper, painting around the flower centers. One wash is all you need.
I used a #8 round brush. Let dry.
Your background should now resemble this:
CARVING OUT FLOWER PETAL SHAPES again on dry paper. Using the same brush, mix pale yellow with ultramarine blue (UB) or your choice of yellows and blues.
Work around each splat center forming flower petals and have them connect. Do not worry if your blue/green/yellow paint dries as you are doing your negative painting (no cheating with a pencil). The random shapes of each area drying will actually give you great leaf and twig possibilities. THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY.
Your work should resemble these images:
UPPER RIGHT CORNER
NEXT STEP for darker negative shapes on dry paper: Load #8 round brush with darker mixed values of greens and blues such as QBO, Quin gold, UB, or Prussian blue. I began at top center, cutting around shapes to make leaves or twigs. Let dry.
Your work should resemble this:
CONTINUE with darker values, still working on dry paper, to put those in working down the middle like this:
CONTINUE going with same paint (mix up the ratio for variation) laying in from middle areas of dark to lower left center like this:
CONTINUE again using the same process to complete the left side like this:
CONTINUE along making negative shapes with your varied paint tones until you have completed the entire background.
Your work might resemble this:
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S!!! You have come this far without screaming. You can take a breath now. There's no way to ruin a painting using this technique. It is fun and inventive to see what you can imagine nature's design to be as created by YOU, not copying photographs or someone else's work.
For final touches, we will focus on adding QBO and UB mix for making positive shaped twigs and branches in browns or tan colors. Additionally we will add some random pale gold shadows on flowers with QBO and quinacridone gold or raw sienna.
Your finished, negatively-painted floral nature watercolor should resemble this:
Sign your name when it is dry because you are now the proud owner of your very own creation!
*ASK any questions or make comments about the above, and post your paintings in the February HOMEWORK thread.
Check out this Negative Painting
article I wrote a while ago for more information on the technique. Sylvia