In thinking about what to do for a lesson for today, I started explaining negative painting in a small demo and in a larger painting.
Negative painting is when you paint the space around an object to make the object appear. An example would be if you wanted to show a house with trees behind it, you show the shape of a house by painting the tall trees normally shaped at the top, but the sides and bottom would end at the straight lines of the roof and house.
Another way to do it is to paint pale layers, draw a design of a leaf, for example, and that leaf is the closest one to you as it’s the lightest. The next leaves that can go under the first, are darker because of the paint you’ve put on to form the first leaf. There are lots of videos and pages on this technique that is sometimes hard to get your head around, but I thought it might be fun for her to try.
So to explain how it works, here are pictures in order of what I’ve done so far on the demo:
After a quick drawing of a simple clump of white oleanders.
a pale wash of thalo blue and hansa yellow surrounding the clump of oleander blossoms. I let it dry thoroughly,
I’ve added more washes of similar colors carefully going around some leaf shapes.
I’ve gone in with light purples (made with quinacridone rose and thalo blue) to separate the blossoms as a start
So here’s where it stands in the latest photo with additional washes on top, sometimes with quin rose in them, to define more leaves and put some behind the lighter ones on front. The key to this is to let each layer dry completely before doing another, and to smooth out the edges of the latest wash so that it only makes a hard line to define the shape. I do see a hard line I need to soften, and it needs more leaves and stems and darks and detail work on the flowers. Tomorrow I’ll post the larger oleander painting in process that I’m working on.
What I’m enjoying about teaching is that it gets me excited about a new project! there are so many good things about teaching that I’m discovering as I go along, not least of which is enjoying her process and successes, and showing the process of figuring out what went wrong and what to do differently the next time. Exciting!