Negative Painting with Fish and Watercolors! (Beginner level) | Bianca Haeck | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Negative Painting with Fish and Watercolors! (Beginner level)

teacher avatar Bianca Haeck, Drawing on Inspiration!

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (47m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Lesson 1: Supplies!

    • 3. Lesson 2: Lighter Layers

    • 4. Lesson 3: Mid-tones

    • 5. Lesson 4: Darker Tones

    • 6. Lesson 5: Final Touches

    • 7. Final Thoughts

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Hi Guys!

I'm back with another great beginner level class! This time we're doing negative painting in COLOR, with watercolors and fish! This class is really easy and relaxed, and just about anyone should be able to achieve the results, so join me for the fun!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Bianca Haeck

Drawing on Inspiration!


I have been an artist from the moment I learned how to wield a crayon as a kid. There was no end to the fascination that a world of color, shapes and ideas could bring! I try to carry that kind of passion into my teaching in the present as well. I like to consider myself a multi-functional artist, as I work in several different mediums. I say "functional" rather than "talented", since I think it's a bit presumptuous to think I alone can say if I have a talent or not :) I love to experiment and learn new things ALL the time! The art world is never set in techniques and mediums, so the learning never stops! Please join me on a fun journey into the different corners of the art world, and let's learn together! :)

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: guys in my class. Negative painting with That's what you guys today, we're gonna be doing a super easy trust. Paint colors on the negative things in techniques earlier. It doesn't have to be the same clothes that I'm using. The same creature fish like bumble bees, flower horses, whatever you give you a forest. Point is we explore that you don't need a whole lot of skills. Been full of soft, just levitation time. So let's get into you guys. Don't get supposed your finished product. If you do, you do this project. I'd love to see you guys come up with. Okay, let's in to lose. 2. Lesson 1: Supplies!: through this class, you'll need watercolor paper. Make sure it's the heavier kind. You'll need water colors in the mixing pan, a brush, some paper towels, a jar of some kind of clean water, some masking tape, some masking fluids, preferably something good like Minka and hairdryer. Let's get started. 3. Lesson 2: Lighter Layers: way have our sketch prepared for today's painting, but just to give you guys a quick idea and reminder kind of of what we're after. This was my original painting that I did in 2018 in my Qadi watercolor sketch book. As you can see here, there are layers that just keep fading into the background, and that is what we're aiming for here today. So, as you can see, I have drawn fish already onto my watercolor paper here using a rent color pencil. Now the reason I use red is because I'm going to paint the scene using blue, so you want to use the opposite color off, basically color pencil toe whatever you're going to paint so you can see it through the layers. Normal graphite pencil is okay, but it, after a while, fades really quickly. That's why I like to use something like a color pencil to help me see more clearly and at least for money piece, you'll see as you can see in here a little bit. You can see a bit of red if you look fairly closely at some of the fish over the original lines. Or but for the most part, it fades because of the washes of watercolor and then the back. You won't see it all, even though I went over fairly dark to remind myself where the fish were. The more layers you put, always with darker the pigment will be, and that will hide any other colors that you have in there like red. And yeah, you'll get this nice effect of the negative painting using fish. So let's get started. Keep your red pencil close at hand because you might need to go over some of the fish and the other layers. All right, so first things first. I'm going to wet this whole canvas using clean water so that we don't contaminate it right away. Make sure it's wet, but not pooling. Pulling is not what we want. Have your paper tape down nicely, using your masking tape like you can see here with mine. If you're not painting directly onto the water color block now you can paint directly onto the block. I could have done that with Mine is Well, it was just fine. It was a glue block, but I like to have the border from this masking tape to get a nice contrast, the paint once it's finished. So that's where I took mine off the block and I'm doing it this way. You can do it whatever way you like. All right, so now I'm going to take a look at what kind of blue I want to start with. Now what we're gonna do is we're gonna use the different kinds of blues and eventually just make it darker. I guess you could go with whatever color you'd like. I have also done this piece. Let me show you quickly before I start here to give you an idea of what I mean in different colors. I did it in both blue and red. So even that makes for a really fun and interesting piece. Just fishing a red, see what's happening there So you could do something like this if you want. That's what I mean by different colors. So I think I want to go with Ultra Marine here, and then this first layer is going to be very light. But you should be able to see pigment all right, so don't make it to light. And also not too dark, because the more layers you put the dark is going to get So we're now in layer one here. My paper is buckling even though it is 250. And that's because it's busy resisting here to this table behind end. It happens with almost every watercolor paper. We haven't pre stretched it. Don't worry too much. If you have a lesser quality watercolor paper, don't stress. This is once again like most of my other tutorials on here. It's mostly for experience and experimentation so that you learn you techniques. Okay, so try and spread it out. Make sure that you cover all the corners. No unintentional white spaces. All right, I mop up anything that's not supposed to be there. Access. Okay, that looks alright to me on We're using a big brush here for all these reasons because it covers the most from space. The smaller your paper, the small your brush can be. So don't worry about that. So now we have layer one finished. What you can do is you can let it air dry if you like that, or you can get out your hair dryer. Now, warning with this, if you're going to be using masking fluid like I'm suggesting that you dio, um, you cannot use the hot setting on your hair drives, so you should have one that has setting for cool air, so basically just drives it. It doesn't heat it because otherwise you're masking food, will stick to the paper and tear it and that it's no fun. You can, of course, to the old freshen way of painting around the fish. But the more fish they are, the more tedious it becomes, the further you go back. So I don't suggest that method, but you can do it. If you only have a few fish, it's up to you. What I'm gonna do now is I am going to drive this and then we're going to move on to layer to. So now the paper is dry for the first layer. You can put it on hot surgeries a bit quicker because there is no masking fluid just yet. But in the future, layers do not mix heat with masking fluid, especially if we have lower quality masking food. Shrink, I find, is the best and does not tear the papers easily. It's the most expensive, but that's for a good reason. So what you're gonna do now is you're gonna block out the fish that are in the front, so they will be the lightest fish. So once again, going back to our reference here, our lightest fish are the ones that are closest to us. And then we moved back shades as we go back into the painting. So let's block out our front fish. Obviously, we have these big guys in the front here. You're going to covered the whole front of fish and this we'll make sure that your paint from the darker layers does not touch this fish. Now, this layer that I put down is very light. So this fish most likely depending on how many layers are gonna put, which it looks like dependent by looks of how many other fish in the background here for quite a few layers. So this fish is gonna look almost right in comparison. But that's okay. It's a pretty neat effect once it's done. So he figured background noise. My two cats are busy playing here, but I will not let them into fear. But yeah, I'm now going too fast for this a bit since now you guys have the idea of how to mask your fish. But I'm gonna do the others and just fast forward and we'll meet back here when I'm done. All right? - Okay . Now I've smashed my front fish from fish, and now we're gonna have to let that sit and dry when it becomes clear. Then you know the masking fluid has dried or if it changes color, like some asking foods will do, but mine will turn clear. So I'm gonna let this sit here for a while and dry, and then I'll get back and we'll start on layer to in the next lesson. Right? So now are masking fluid has dried, as you can see here. Now it is clear. So now we can move on into the second Blair. So I'm still going to carry on with the same one that I was using before using my old marine. Like I said before, keep your color pencil close at hand because some of these might start to disappear fairly soon. In fact, I think some of them might with this layer. So what I'm going to do before I start, I'm gonna look for the ones that are but to light. Just give some another quick run through with a pencil so they don't completely get lost too soon. That way I know I'm not going to lose anyone you'll see as we go further with these layers . It does get tricky, but let's get going now with the next layer. So basically, we're doing the same as what we did the first time around, just adding these layers. Now. The first layers are always quite liked, and I usually tend to stick to the same color. I don't add any new, darker values yet, so just go ahead. You can see now this time I'm not using. But when I would technique, I am actually doing what on dry, which is I'm coming in with paint onto a dried off surface, doing it side to side like this to try and keep it nice and even don't worry about going over the masking tape because that's what it's there for. You can see around the masking fluid that we put on a fish. It beats up in pools a little bit like that because it is shielding the layer underneath just exactly what we want. Okay, that looks good. He was such okay. So again, you can live it now, air dry. Or you could bring out your handy dandy hair dryer. I'm going to use this because I have it on the coolest setting, and then I'm going to speed this up so we can get moving and put our next layer of basketball. Always test your paper if it feels damp or still cool that it means it's, you know it's not dried properly, so you have to keep drying it off or giving it a few more minutes to just sit. All right, so now we're going to decide who is next in our layer. So obviously, the smaller fish should hopefully be the ones that are further away. But that's your decision to make. So I'm going to say that this guy is closer. The sooner you make your masking fluid as well, the better. It will drive faster, make sure not sleep gaps. Otherwise, the darker layers will come through because we haven't quite gotten into the dark of layers . It doing a few at a time here. So again, we're going to let these drive, and then we're going to go into the next lesson when we're going to do the next layer. So you guys 4. Lesson 3: Mid-tones: all right, so once again, masking fluid is dry. This one is almost completely dry. Top players drive, but underneath it's still curing, but we can paint over that anyway, So now we're going to dive inter next layer. You know, for this one, I'm going to use my pressure in blue shade. It's going to be quite the leap into the dark shade already, but it's about time that we go there. So, just like before way, just lay down at what you can add water if you need to. If you want to send it out if it's too dark in your opinion, used judgment with this because you don't want it too dark too quick. Otherwise, you can't build those nice layers. As you can see right when we go into this darker color, we already start to lose some of the smaller fish that were done very lightly in pencil. So that's why I said to keep your color pencil close at hand because we may need to go over some of them before we lose them into the depths there. Make sure you're coding is fairly even again. Time to let it dry, so I grabbed my hair dryer again. Back in a second. Right now, it's nice and drag em. I'm slightly darker. Now, before we do our next layer of fishies in here again, we're going back and just outlining. Quite likely the ones that are fading a little bit too much into the back. Because as we go darker here, we don't want to forget where we have our little fishes. If you do lose track of your fish, no big deal. You can just make some up if you need to. But I like to have an idea of where my fish are just for harmony in the sake front. So now we are in our next layer. So I'm going to make some of these guys for the thinner your layer, the better. So what, back? Maybe we'll sit this one. I can swim in circles, keep them. All right. So again, gonna let these guys drive and we're gonna come back. And now we're going to start adding in something darker shades. See you in a bit. Guys, guys, welcome back. So now we're going to do with the next layer. So these three have now dried see their clear now you can start to see a slight shift shades between the layers already No. Here after the side. I hope you guys can see this nicey. I have already mixed my three blues here. So I had my ultra Marine my cobalt blue and then my impression Blue or Monash Joe Blue, whichever you'd like to call it. And now we're going to use this and we're going to try and make a quite dark leap here and then we're going to spread it out. So let's get going. One thing I forgot to mention is that as you can see here, I'm using pan watercolors. You do not have to use pan watercolors if you like. Using them out of the tube of that's perfectly fine as well. Some people just prefer the ease of mixing from the to, but I've just gotten used to pan colors. I guess it's just the one that I learned to use the best. This White Knights watercolor palette that I have here that I like to call my Russian poet is the one that I probably learned how to do watercolors with, and therefore I'm just more comfortable with it. but you go with whatever works for you. My method does not have to be our method e Always remember with water colors as well. They tend to dry a lot lighter than what you're seeing on the page. So if you're blue looks really dark to you, it's not going to dry that dark, so don't worry. But you do wanna have it so that there is some change in the depth of the blue for whichever color that you're working with. In fact, if you decided to go with the red, good for you, I'd be very interested to see how your piece turns out. So please do post it. If you have done that perfect again. Let's dry now. It isn't nicely dry yet. As you can see, some of the fish once again disappeared. So before we go into the next layer, which is gonna get even darker, gonna go over the ones that are fading. If you lose a fisher to no big deal, you can just make some new ones perfect. And so now we grab our masking fluid again and then we're going to the next layer. So I see size wise, I'm going to start with me. This here for now. So we have some left from the back layers as well. All right, This once again, we'll let those dry and then we come back for the next layer where I'm gonna be adding in something more coat. Right. So now that layer has dried nicely, So now we can leap into the next one. So now I've already had a premix on this side of my, uh, basically fresh and blue and then a torque Wars Turk Turk and took All right, So I'm gonna now leave. And now that I've had those mixed to get a nice, rich dark color and we're gonna just move right into the next layer, As you can see, it's already darkening it. Just by adding that turquoise, it changes the shade, the blue like that. Don't be afraid to experiment and make your own shades like this. You might surprise yourself with what you learn, and that's all it is. Is a nice learning process. All of this experimentation of learning. That's what I like little pieces like these from. This isn't quite little, but you know what I mean. This isn't a very detailed piece. This is a quite relaxing piece. You can put some music on in the background for yourselves as you're doing this and then just get lost in it. It is very therapeutic. Normally I would also have to use a gun in the background. But for obvious reasons, I do not have my own music on just the music from my editing here. But you guys were listening to and yet, I mean, this is a really enjoyable way of paintings of mixing up here to get perfect aquamarine blue. It's like a Keira being blue. It's just that hint of green. I love that. That's what Really? Okay, so again, quickly dry this piece off and then we're going to do our next masking layer and then from there we're gonna move on into the next layer and get even darker. 5. Lesson 4: Darker Tones: So now it's nice and dry again. I've noticed that some of my fishies up here have disappeared once again. Just go over them. You can find them fairly easily. I'm sure. Already lost a few. Changing the direction that they're smooth. I think that's good. Then we'll basically I think, have two more layers after this. And then I will wrap this up. So again, we're going to let this dry, and then we're gonna come back and do the last two layers that we have to go in this piece . So you guys there? Almost there, guys, We're getting down to the last two layers. So now we have masked off our fishies and that layer. So now we're going to move on. Start painting it. So again, I'm going to go in still using my turquoise on Prussian blue for an and love twisted. It doesn't get to same in here. All right, those two in there. Now, we're gonna come over here and bring in some into go. Who? Look at that shade. So much darker. All right, now, that's just get into that. Look at that nice, rich, dark shade. Remember, you're building up to your darkest layer here, so all of these other darker layers air underneath. Eventually, you're going to get to your darkest layer, which would be a fine pick your color schemes based off that I've done here, I have kept ocean colors in mind. That's too. It's a question final splitting it up. So I kept the colors of the ocean in mind. Well, doing this So there are greens and obviously shades blue, Very depending on where you are in the ocean. Well, kind of climate you're looking at has a deep Sears that close to the shore tropical areas or is it deep ocean in the architect somewhere? So, based on fact, that mine has some lovely shades of green. And then I would say that this is probably somewhere around the Caribbean. My kiss again, that we're gonna dry this and we're gonna dark announced are first two layers of fishies and then almost there. OK, let's do this. Fishes in here. But they're going to have to just so now we have them in their sorry head gets in her a few times. So now we're going to do the second to last masking of fish And then the smallest fish be the last layer. So basically, now it's picking who's quite big and who is smaller and just going from All right. So again, we're gonna let the last these guys dry kampen paint another layer to the last masking of the last seven fish that I can see here and then do the final layer. Almost there might get this. Okay, So you guys back, you're just a little bit 6. Lesson 5: Final Touches: ware on the second to last. Like I said that before. But this is so now. I have taken some indigo and mixed it with the turquoise to get very dark shade. And that is what we're going to run with here. Hopefully, my last seven fish. Little stared out when I've done here. If not, we're just gonna have to guess. Right? So let's just dive right in food. Look out dark. That is so lovely. Beautiful shape. Just lose some of our little fishy friends along the way here. That's all right. We're just gonna have toe guesstimate where they are then. But that's half the fun of this. Is that you know, there are no rules. This isn't from a photograph. This is a commission of some kind. This is basically just you controlling your own little fish world here where you want things to go, who sits where somebody disappears, they disappear than somebody else replaces them. And you just keep going. Beautiful. All right, Now we're gonna drive this and hopefully than some of the red still pop up and still see some of them. That's fine. So it's give us a quick dry off mask our last fish, and then we will move on to our final lesson, which will be the last layer. Seaga's there. All right, so now we have our paper dry. So now I have Teoh, see if I can still spot a little fishies. - Now we're gonna lift this last layer dry for the masking fluid, and then we're going to put the final, darkest layer of blue. Here we go. All right, you guys, it's time to do our final layer of paint. So I'm going to do mine in straight into go because it's so dark. So I'm just gonna type right there. Oh, yes, that's perfect at some water and then just go. So what we're going to do next? After we have laid down this final layer with our darkest color, then we're going to let it dry. Obviously, when it is nice and dry, they were going to peel off from masking fluid and reveal the different shades of fish beneath. Then you can really see the magic of this type of technique. Where you see the further back it goes, the darker gets on. Each fish is within a certain area off the ocean. And you can also do this with other creatures or objects that doesn't have to be fish, flowers or bees, whatever you like. Birds flying for the sky through stormy night or something, just, you know, experiment. That's what these are for. I think I'm asking for what did you go over these little fish pop out she go over certainly has, with your darkest shades that you can see basically every single one of them, because they've all been masked off. So that's it. So that is our darkest layer. We're now down with painting. So now I'm going to dry this off, and then we're going to come back, and we're going to peel off the masking fluid so you guys can see what the final piece looks like. All right, See you back in just second, guys. All right, now that your pieces properly drive, get another piece of paper, towel or tissue and then just there at the top of the fish to pick up any of that ticket that might still be wet because you don't want that to go over the area that you are going to peel off. So if you have one of these lighter fish here. You don't want any of the indigo just smear into them. So just Miley dab all of your fish that have been masked to pick up in the sun dried paint and look nice and clean. Perfect. So now we're gonna do is we're actually going to take off the mask, include See how our layers came out and then eventually going take off our masking tape to see how nice our border looks and to contrast. So let's get started on that heat. Something must have warmed it up because that's what happens. It tears off the paper. For some reason, this has been in contact with heat, which it shouldn't be because my hair dryer was on cool. See, I also put it on fairly thick, which was my first. - Okay , so now we have peel everything off and you can see how neat that effect is. Scared of some of them. All right, so now we can see how I need that effect. Billy is now on some of these. We had some tearing because there was just too much of the masking fluid on it for the first couple. They were too thick. So then what we have to do? It's very easy fix. We just go back very lightly and paint over them. I may not look great, but just think of it. This texture fish, some suffered a bit more damage than others. So it's not that bad. Really. Just covered up. It really bothers you started, But I wouldn't recommend it, cause that's a lot of work. Remember as well that this is not a masterpiece that you're planning on selling. At least I hope not. Because this is where you're here. Just to learn. You can just cover these up just like that. So don't let it through. You too bad. Just touch it up. All right, here we go. I think that actually looks coming in. All right. Not too sure. You with my other piece. There was also a little bit of lifting of coloring. Here is well, but not that bad, because I used a very thin layer every time with my masking fluid, and I'd for gotten that. I'm doing these. So that was my mistake. So, like I said many times before, use very thin layers of masking fluid and then it'll come out like the rest of the fish came out with no tears. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna remove this border clean at my desk, and then we're gonna do the final details on the fish soup. Back in a bit is how it looks all cleaned up. Doesn't that have such a nice contrast on the final thing I'm going to do? You can do this in watercolors. If your bike is, I'm going to put some details on the fish towards the front. And I'm gonna do that using something on a defense, like a set. If all you have is water colors, then run with water colors, blue and gold over my hands now, right? So what we're gonna dio as we're then just going to roughly go over those areas or fish is meant to have some kind of detail like that. Very roughly. Atlantic fish is well, you can see here. It also helps to hide some of the red. If it's still a show you can do is little for as much detail on them issues. I am keeping my fairly simple like what I had in my sketchbook mooring control. So do it however you want. So that is how I'm going to do mine. Sign it. Bottom. This is the 21st 2000. All right, you guys, let's see how yours look. 7. Final Thoughts: is that? How did you do? How would you go? As you saw there in my piece there were some tears because actually was textured paper. Sorry, my cat was lovely because my cat has not decided anyway. Guys, thank you so much for joining me for this past and I hope to see you back to Maurin. Teacher. My name is Streeter. And please follow me on my social media. We will see you guys back for next lesson.