About this blog


WELCOME! My name is Ann Mortimer and I'm a professional watercolour artist and tutor from Nottingham, UK.

This is a "learn how to" and "problem solving" blog covering WATERCOLOUR TECHNIQUES.

You can look for things that interest you in the blog archive on the side bar when various topics have built up over time!

I'll be covering thing such as colour mixing, negative painting, using masking fluid, laying washes, painting water and all sorts of other things.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Negative painting and a 3D effect demonstration

Here's a photo of a clematis growing in my garden. The leaves overlap each other and are casting shadows downwards. In this demo I'm trying to portray this effect.
I think this negative painting effect is born of working from photographs a lot. It aims for realism and has little to do with conceptual art or spontaneous expression and as such wont be everyone's cup of tea! I'm trying to capture a realistic sense of depth and 3D. So that, like in a photograph, you feel as if you are travelling into the painting.
Many people find this concept of painting back to front difficult to grasp. So if this is the case perhaps having a go at this demo stage by stage will make the difference.


First I made an outline drawing of leaves overlapping each other. These might be clematis leaves.


In this first stage of painting I laid a wet in wet wash. I had mixed up some yellow and some blue separately in my palette and also mixed a green by combining the yellow and blue. I wetted the whole of the paper and the dropped in yellows and greens wet in wet. I made sure the yellows went over the uppermost leaves and the darker greens went into the areas between the leaves. This started the 3D effect straight away as the yellows stand out and the greens recede. I ignored the pencil lines at this stage, just wanting to get a general effect to start with.
I let this dry completely. It 's important to allow each stage to dry completely...you can use a hair dryer!




Before painting here, you see I have drawn in some stalks in the middle depths as a guide for my painting. With a darker green (with more blue mixed in with the yellow) I painted AROUND just the uppermost leaves. Where one leaf overlaps another, I brought the darker paint underneath the top leaf to make it seem as though a shadow was being cast on the lower leaf. You can see I have painted over the underneath stalks and leaves at this stage. I let this dry completely.



Then with an even darker green I painted AROUND the underneath leaves which as a result were now standing out but were darker in tone than the very top leaves. At the same time I used this darker green mix to paint each side of the leaf stalks and tendrils that I had drawn in the middle depths, thus making another layer of depth. Once again I let this dry.



Finally I painted in some more veins on the leaves which introduces depth and form within the leaves. So the leaves themselves become 3D. I deepened the shadows cast by the overlapping leaves by going over with a fairly watery bluey green. And I was pleased with my 3D effect!



And finally here's this 3D technique used in one of my paintings. This shows a section of a clematis painting where I have used the negative painting method to portray the leaves.

21 comments:

  1. Oh it is wonderful! Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Hi Maria! Your comment is my first feedback on this techniques blog. Hope this was useful to you. Would love you to be a follower!

      Ann

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  2. Thank you Ann, this is exactly what I need to improve my painting techniques!!!! I wish I lived closer...I would come for private lessons LOL!!!
    Chris :o)

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  3. Thanks Chris...hope there will be lots of things to interest you. Thanks for calling in!
    Ann

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  4. Thanx Anne I have tried this and am quite pleased with the outcome. This blog is a great idea

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  5. That's brilliant Jenny, so pleased its been useful!
    Would love you to be a follower.

    Ann

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  6. Hi, I'm going to try this technique on the round rosette
    I think it is called, that encircles the base (at the ceiling) of my dining room chandelier. The rosette is molded 3d type with roses and leaves, but I needed the shading to be right to capture and emphasize the flowers up there. Wish I had time to do this before it went up ten yrs ago. Figuring on using sponge paint applicators and brushes. Neck wont take too much of this.
    Thank you great ideas. Love the purple clematis.

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  7. I'm just a beginner. This tutorial was very helpful!
    Thank you,
    Diane

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  8. Painting negative spaces always has a great effect, plus it is so much fun. I've never tried dropping color in wet before, but I will now. Thanks.

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  9. Did you pour the colors for the clematis blossom?

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  10. Hi Laura the clematis was from a different painting that I put here as an example of the technique used in an actual painting. I don't know what you mean by "pour" but the flower was there right from the beginning of that painting. It wasnt added at the end. Hope that answers your question,

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  11. Lovely florals that are just exquisite!

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  12. Excellent explanation and step by step description. Many thanks for the clarity of explanation and quality of painting.

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  13. Adorei as suas pinturas. Bem gostaria de ir as suas aulas mas eu vivo noutro continenten. Obrigada . Fernanda

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  14. This is truly amazing! Thanks so much for the lesson. It makes it so much easier to understand a technique when there are pictures or examples to go along with the explanation!

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  15. Thanks for sharing this lesson with watercolour lovers!!!

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  16. Hi Ann!Love your paintings and the step by step demo.
    I am passionate about watercolours and would simply love to attend your classes!I live in Hyderabad,India!!!!

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  17. Hi Anne, just found your blog and demo. It is fabulous. Thanks for sharing. We all learn so much from each other.Jane ( Palos Verdes, Ca)

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  18. Hi Anne, just found your blog and want to work my way through it. Your descriptions of how you did things are excellent and I love your paintings so much. Thank you for sharing. You are very generous.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. Nice to hear from you and thanks for your appreciation!

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