Master negative painting in watercolour

Negative painting refers to painting the negative space that defines positive shapes. This is especially important with traditional watercolour, where painting things as light-against-dark means the white of the paper must be preserved (rather than using white paint as is done with opaque media). So, instead of painting the object, you paint the object's background. Here's how to do it.

01. Wash and dry

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Jem Bowden paints and teaches watercolour full time, with a focus on landscapes. He gives demonstrations, runs workshops, and tutors on residential painting holidays.