It’s been a rather strange spring because of the Covid-19 crisis. Between March and now we’ve been more or less couped up at home not being able to enjoy the coming of Spring. And before we know it, we are now in June! It was only a week or so ago I was actually able to go out and enjoy looking at flowers! Then I realised what positive vibes they bring. I of course love painting flowers, but this time I thought I’d try some abstract stuff, going for negative space.
Some artists use a sponge stick to spread paint, but I wanted to experiment with an old make-up sponge using some of my favourite colours. Here, I used bright blue, gold and fluorescent pink on Marabu’s mixed media A3 pad (300 gsm). The triangular make-up sponge worked really well and when washed with soap and water can be used over and over again.
Collages of paper napkins were firstly incorporated. With flowers in mind, I made sure the leafy patterns were glued on the bottom portion as well as the sides. I then painted in some flowers in random shapes and sizes as well as in various colours that suited my fancy with acrylic ink and gouache. In some areas, I sprayed some water-alcohol mixture onto the inks to disperse the colours.
Painting Negative Space
I was now ready to add some negative space! The intention was to create some colourful flowers with the existing piece. As I have been doing before, I firstly photographed the painting then on my iPad marked up the areas digitally. On the actual painting, I further carefully drew the markings with soft pastels before painting around it with titanium white acrylic paint. The white background was then left as it was instead of being painted over by another colour.
Add More Leaves!
Once I was happy with the positions of the flowers, I drew in the stems and leaves in with India Ink directly with the accompanying droppers. Dr. Ph Martin’s Bombay Inks were used as they come in a variety of pretty shades of green. I made sure they connected with the leaves from the collages to give an illusion of continuity. With some colourful acrylic markers and gel pens, some details were enhanced and added. And now!
Although I need more practice with it, I’m starting to get the knack of creating negative space art. This concept adds an interesting aspect to paintings by adding some mystery and leaving the viewer wondering what was underneath. As another artist told me, the underlying layers tell a story. It definitely expresses my mind set and in this case, it certainly shows that I’m seeking for more positive vibes during these difficult times.