Thursday, February 25, 2010

Negative Painting ala Linda Kemp

I've been finding myself at a loss for inspiration recently so I grabbed a book I purchased a few years ago titled Painting Outside The Lines by Linda Kemp.

I was (and still am) very much fascinated by her approach to landscape painting. It's like nothing I've ever seen before and I'm finding it's extremely tricky to accomplish. Linda doesn't stretch her paper or even use tape to secure it to a board. She thoroughly wets both sides of a piece of #140 CP watercolor paper with clear water and lays it on a sheet of Plexi glass. The paper is held in place by the tension of the water against the Plexi and also by the sizing on the paper itself. She recommends drying your painting on a wooden board after completion but I left mine on the plexi and it dried nice and flat without sticking to the glass.

In her book she illustrates some simple compositional tips, how to create the desired mood you wish to convey in your painting and also includes some simple step-by-step demos on how to apply the paint. Learning to think in the negative, meaning to focus on the shapes around an object rather than the object itself, is quite another matter. Looks easy but trust's not! It requires a shift in our normal way of looking at things. This may come more easily to some than others. I found I had to continually step back and look at my painting to get my bearings, so to speak, but I feel if I continue to pursue this method of painting it will eventually become natural.


Jeanette Jobson said...

This piece has a unique, fairytale quality to it. Mysterious.

Negative painting or drawing is quite fascinating and you're right, it does make you think more carefully and observe before you put down a brushstroke.

I've toyed with Linda's book, but haven't gotten it yet. Perhaps I need to play with the technique first and see if it appeals more before I invest in another book.

Billie Crain said...

Linda also showcases florals in her book but it was her landscapes that intrigued me most, Jeanette. Her trees make me think of osteoporotic(sp?) bones and the way she applies the paint for her foregrounds is interesting as well. Something different.

Unknown said...

I think you did a great job with Linda's technique! I find negative painting difficult too.
Love the foreground colours and textures in this!

Billie Crain said...

Thank you, Patty.:) Boy, Linda isn't afraid to apply paint with gusto. lol I had fun scrubbing away.