Experimenting with Negative Space!


Another academic year is about to begin, which means you have more chance to flaunt your painting skills! Make your classmates look in awe at your art with this Negative Water Colour Painting idea. It is a fresh and fun experiment where you play around with negative space – a darker background around objects with lighter shades. You can define various objects, the ones that form the center of the painting by showing unimportant ones further away from the center.

Through this method, you can gradually reveal the shapes, while creating more depth and dimension with each layer of colour in the painting.

Here’s what you will need:

Soft fine-tipped paintbrush
Artists’ Water Colour 18 Assorted Colours Set

Let’s begin!

Step 1:

Start by sketching a rough outline of the painting, for eg: flowers, stems and leaves. You don’t have to draw all of the details, as these can be worked on later, while the painting is in progress.


Step 2:

Set out the selected colours of paint in your palette. Now wet the paper with water using a paint brush, drop in the paint randomly across your sketch. Avoid dropping the paint inside the foremost flowers. Don’t let the brush touch the surface of the painting at this stage. Once this step is done, let it dry.


Step 3:

Use lighter tones to work on the flowers, stems and leaves by creating a mixture of colours so as to add more vibrancy to your painting.

Don’t add the dark shades, yet – keep them aside to paint in layers, to add depth. Now, paint the edges and soften the colours as you move away from the edges.


Step 4:

Keep adding layers in the background, leaving the stems, flowers and leaves in the foreground for the last, as shown in the picture. This way, you can reveal more shapes in the background, gradually.

Once you are done adding various layers throughout the painting, let it dry completely. This step helps you focus on bringing out the beauty of the shapes of the main subject.


Step 5:

In the final stage of the painting, paint the darkest shades first and then proceed to blend them with the lighter shades of the petals and leaves in the center.

Once done, you will notice that the main subject of the painting – the flowers, barely have any colour at all! It is the darker shades of the background that add depth to the painting.


Your Negative Water Colour Painting is ready!

Did you find this technique interesting? Do let us know in the comments section!

If you have already tried this idea, tell us your experience.

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *