I had in mind to do a painting from sketch of the paperbark trees in I did recently the Botanic Gardens. I found a half sheet of watercolour paper that I had stretched in the distant past and got started. I wanted to do a stylised landscape using the techniques from Linda Kemp’s book Watercolor Painting Outside the Lines. Some years ago I got this book from the library. At first I thought there wasn’t a lot of information in it but closer inspection found that I was wrong. Everything you need to know about negative painting is covered in this book. I had to buy it.
This method of painting involves working in layers of washes. First I did the underpainting by wetting the whole sheet and dropping colours in and allowing to dry. Then I drew on my two main trees and some grasses, and painted negatively around them. Each layer has to dry thoroughly before going on to the next layer.
The second image shows the work when partially done.
After a while I ran out of layers of trees coming directly from my sketch. I took my painting on its board, and my pencil and rubber up to the park at the end of my street. I sat in the shade amid the paperbark trees and drew another layer.
I worked with a limited palette. It just worked out that way. Viridian and Brilliant Alizarin, Ceruluean Blue and Burnt Sienna, and also Aureolin Yellow. I group the colours in this way because the first pair was used to make a range of greys for the washes, as was the second pair.
There are a number of book reviews on my blog, but if you go to my website you will see a number of different art books I have reviewed (and I don’t review anything I don’t recommend) , and where there is a review on my blog the website will link back to it. Just click on the Resources tab.