Another abstract floral painting for a change! Actually, when I began, I was unsure of what I wanted to paint so decided to scribble in some doodles with oil pastels on gessoed Mixed Media paper (Canson’s). Then I randomly splashed some ink on and around using Ecoline ink and various acrylic inks, sticking to green and its primary sources of blue and yellow. shades. I also glued on scrap paper from an old coloured newsletter and continued layering. No direction at all, although I did vaguely have a flower painting in mind.
Once I felt ready, I began sketching in some flowers. Initially, I used white chalk but it was not visible enough to work on so went for black charcoal instead which I was hoping would easily be erasable compared to graphic pencil. It was a mistake. When I would try to erase or rub out the charcoal, it would smudge. Duh of course! In future, I should make a sketch on separate paper and then transfer it on using graphic paper. So a change of plans. Instead of erasing the sketch, I continued on and traced the existing outlines with a white Uni Posca marker.
Negative Space Painting
Once I finished drawing the big flowers, I decided to go for a negative space approach. The colourful patterns I had created earlier would be too beautiful to waste if I were to fill in the flowers with another colour! With negative space, you focus on the background rather than the subject, whereas with the more conventional approach of positive space, you focus on the subject instead by filling in colours and adding details. The result is that the shapes of the subjects appear from the background, thereby creating an interesting effect. As a first step, I brushed on some white gesso around the flower shapes to prime the area and make the paint more opaque.
Pretty in Purple
I chose purple for the area around the negative space. Considering it is a complimentary shade against the yellow and green, it gives a stunning contrast. This darker shade also adds a bit of mystery to the piece. A strong and vivid acrylic paint in Crushed Grape (by Dylusions) was then used. Once the paint was dry, I proceeded in adding some finished touches like green glitter glue and doodles in 3D acrylic paint by Sennelier. And here it is! I have to say I was a bit hesitant to have green flowers but then I thought it’s fun to create something out of the ordinary. Flowers are normally red or pink or even purple. Why not reverse the roles and make them green against purple surroundings?
This piece was not expected. Initially I was going to add red or pink flowers on top of the yellow/green background I had created, thereby the “same old” positive space painting. Then after a bad move I turned it to my advantage and created something different. It’s been quite a while since I’ve worked with negative space so thought I would make use of this opportunity. Now I am pleasantly surprised how much more interesting it turned out! I love how the roles of the colours got reversed too! Flowers in green shades surrounded by purple surroundings, who wouldn’ve thought? So those of you out there, if you make a mistake, don’t fret… take a step back and recreate!