Watercolor Mistletoe in a Negative Painting Technique | Camilla Damsbo Brix | Skillshare

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Watercolor Mistletoe in a Negative Painting Technique

teacher avatar Camilla Damsbo Brix, Teaching Whimsical watercolors

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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

8 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Welcome to class

    • 2. Tools and Materials

    • 3. Sketching and masking

    • 4. Let's begin with a wash

    • 5. First glazing layer

    • 6. Second and third glazing layer

    • 7. Darkest darks and final details

    • 8. Let's wrap up!

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About This Class



In this class I’lI guide you through the negative painting technique while we are painting a Mistletoe. I will, explain the technique in an approachable way, that will make it easy to understand and replicate. We will cover:

  • Sketching
  • Using masking fluid
  • Painting the different layers to create depth in the painting

So if  you are a beginner and  want try this technique for the first time or your are experienced and just want inspiration for your christmas cards - this class is perfect for you. I teach in a fun and relaxed style to make the process accessible to everybody.

So grab your brushes and come paint with me.


Meet Your Teacher

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Camilla Damsbo Brix

Teaching Whimsical watercolors


My name is Camilla and I’m a danish watercolourist. Mostly I paint whimsical flowers which I share on Instagram as @camilla_damsbo_art. Here on Skillshare I love to share my knowledge in fun and easy classes on watercolor and ink and I can't wait to see you in class.

I would deffinitly say that watercolour is the most magical kind of paint, and all you can do is just know a little technique, loosen up your brush and trust the process.



If you plan to watch one class this summer I advice you make it this one. It will launch very soon and you will learn the very best technique for your summer vacations or staycations - Watercolor and Ink! you will learn to draw 5 flowers and then bring them into a s... See full profile

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1. Welcome to class: I, guys and welcome to class. I'm Camilla, an army watercolorist from Denmark. And today I'm gonna teach you how to paint in a negative technique. And we're gonna paint, missin, tell. So we're gonna paint this. It's a Christmas single teeth. So you can totally use this for Christmas cats. Oh, even presence if you like. But you can also use this class just to learn negative technique. And I'm going over it in the slow and hopefully very explanatory way. So it's easy to understand. I'm going to cover sketchy and we're doing a little bit of masking with mask include. And then I'm going to cover the different places we're gonna use to create this amazing technique that really creates depth and reveals light in the different layers. And the class project is, of course, painting a painting like this. So just follow along and let's get started 2. Tools and Materials: Okay, let's stand up by looking at some materials. And, of course, this watercolor paper that is quite essential. This is the cancer brained 300 grams, so it can hold a lot of water you can easily use. Whichever brand you have lying around is a cheap option. Cut them up in the A five size. So it's It's a nice size to apply to my cardboard here. This is actually the backside of one of my watercolor pets. You can easily use it. And the I applied with schism regular masking tape in a nice They're nice, pleasing color. You can totally use whatever you have, like laying around. Then we have, of course, paints. This is this my Vincent Newton set and the only use of greens in this set, and I'm going to mix them with browns and, yeah, mostly Brown, actually. And then I'm gonna use the greens from this tropicals from said from prima marketing and, uh, only the greens as well. They have some nice cool greens in this set, which you like. Then, of course, there's brushes. I'm going to use three sizes of brushes, the bigger one still round a big one and ah, medium one. And the there is more, One for details. And they're different types of brains. And you use whatever you have on hand that I'm gonna use a pencil is an h. So it's a hot pencil and a regular eraser, and then I'm gonna use masking fluid and this is a Winter Newton masking fluid, and I'm going to apply it with this really tortured brush. And I know you can David in soapy water, and it'll it won't ruin it, But I kind of like it this way. Uh, this is a fine line up a super 0.1 waterproof, very boned, of course, water. We are playing around with watercolors and some tissue, and that is the essentials than this. Only left to show you this very important thing, a hair dryer, because there's a lot of layers and a lot of drying time. So if you're impatient like me, head right is perfect, and that is it 3. Sketching and masking: Now, let's start by attaching this, uh, watercolor paper to my cardboard. I'm just going to place it here in the middle, and I'm gonna take my masking tape. And this is this is a very simple procedure. You just we'll apply the masking tape to each each of its year. This is to prevent the paper from buckling because I'm going to use a lot of water in this , uh, this exercise, and it isn't going to prevent it. Totally. There are other ways to stretch your paper and the recommended a watercolor pad. If you have one of those laying around, otherwise you can probably I am it. I heard, but the Google it and you'll find a way to do that. I'm going to use this for now. And now I'm gonna do my first sketch, and I'm just roughly sketching out where I want my lines to be for my first tough player off this mistletoe and a chosen mistletoe. Because it's a super simple shape that you, uh you should be able to to, uh, remember the shape when you do your washes over it. And I uploaded the sketch in the project section so you can easily go look there and trace it if you like, or just copy it. Even, of course, also do your own missile. So that is totally up to you, But not just gonna speed this up. Step it and I'll see you in a second. And now the sketch is done. I'm gonna take my eraser and just very lightly erased the lines. Oh, just some of the graph. I'd actually I want my lines to be visible. And I know you can't delete, um, or erase lines when you paint over them. But we need the lines to to guide us in the painting. And when we're done with the erasing the lines here, I'm just going to remove the the excess here. You can use a brush for this, too, so you don't get the grease on your paper. And now it's time for the masking fluid and the you can see it comes in a container. It's very liquid. And I'm just going to shake the bottle here, and I'm going to take my super tortured s has said before brush Uh, I don't know why I prefer this, but, uh, for some reason, I do. It has a very nice hot tip, Um, that I enjoy painting with. I'm just going to assume in here so I can see why I apply my messing food. And, uh, I'm just going to use it on my various year. And that's because that is the only thing I want to leave completely white. All the other parts will will have some under underlying tones off wash. So just the Berries because mistletoe Berries are white. So of course, we want the the top layer bears to be white, and I'm just applying it very carefully here, and we don't need a lot of masking fluid, but we do need it to dry. So I'm just going to leave this painting to drive for a bit and come back to it in the second 4. Let's begin with a wash: So now we are all set to begin. Oh, first wash, and I'm just going to use my big brush you and apply some water. And I'm not doing it all over the paper and you doing it where I want my my color to be very loosely. I want a A nice organic fields of this painting. And I'm just going to apply some pains in the different hues, all greens as a sit before. But I want to mix it up. So I both have some warm green and some cold green and also some light tones and some DACA tones. But we want to keep our wash light at this point. Um, this is our first wash, and we're gonna do a lot of layers. I can I could have admit to that this technique is a lot about layers. So this first wash has to be, Ah, super light. And you can see I'm really random about dropping my painting here, and I'm trying to to soften the edges with water. So I don't get too many hostages at this point, and I want to make sure that there's this color where I have my leaves on. I had my mistletoe because that is the color that's going to shine through our our painting . As you know, with negative painting, you have the visible part off your we'll achieve. It's actually where you don't paint, and I hope that's getting a lot luckier in the next lesson. But this underlying wash is what I would say it was going to to have a four color, and I'm just going to split us. Um, some random color ship, same cosas I used in the wash just to give it more organic feel. I'm going to hit both the dry paper and the wet paper so it bleeds. Nice. Who? I love this place, huh? You should really do that. It's It's so fun. 5. First glazing layer: And now all the fun begins because this is now the time for all the fun, negative painting magic to heaven. And I am, uh, just going to show you the sketch next to the painting so you can kind of follow along. Can be a little hard to see, uh, when this washes applied. But I'm going to paint around Alma Chief, and, uh, hopefully this will that will see them with chief s. We go and you can see it's already kind of showing itself here. The secret to to negative painting is always to paint the negative space. So don't paint the positive space, which is our mistletoe, but only all the stuff around the mistletoe. Oh, whatever Moochie view you prefer. If you want a simple, um achieve, you can easily go for, you know, just leaves or branches or something like that. I just really like the missile towards. It's a fun shape and it's perfect for Christmas. So I like to to pay that. And I'm just going to in here to ah soften my out of a bitches. We want the edges around. I'm achieve to be shop so we can super easy see Alma chief, but we want the edges outside on the other side of the Matif to be soft. And we do that by just using a damp brush or just water on your brush to soften the riches . And I'm just going to Dublin. The different Hughes, um, have call it to get a nice glaze with the different types off off green. I don't want my my wash to be a A just one color. I wanted to be nice and diverse and have a lot of texture. And I really think that all the color mix makes the background look super vibrant and and fun. You can see I was going, Yeah, I'm going in here with the water again just to sell from those edges. And this is really a a painting technique that is super, super playful, and you can really player around with color and just have fun with it. And now I'm just going to a speed up this process so you can watch it in a a little bit of a faster speed and I'll zero in a second. And as you can see, we now have a complete branch here which which is visible and the super nice. And I just found tuning some bitches here, and, uh, we can hit over to the next layer. 6. Second and third glazing layer: And now we're actually going Teoh do the same as we did before. We're going to sketch first, so I'm going to do a a nice pencil sketch here and the we are going to have some visible lines here, but we are also going to use it as guides and just like before. So we wanted to be visible. That song some degree. You didn't totally do this freehand if you like, but I find it it easier to have some some guides. So paint for it's doing some nice Berries here and, uh, some some leaves and that you know you can You can totally download these sketches so you can follow along. And I think that's all the sketch we need. Now we can go in with our ah second glaze and ah, the second place is going to be more more thick and the have a dog a value to it. We wanted to be more in the background and all first please and again, I'm going to paint only the negative space around our motif, and I'm actually using the water having my brush to kind of dilute it a bit. But I'm just going in with water as well because we want that. That's soft. Which out of which, and I'm trying to make sure that I have some of the same colors on each side of the range. You can see this nice kind of that breast green, um, is in all my scores at the moment, and I'm going to drop in some other colors as well. But I like that it's has some of this is the same tones on each side of the positive space , so it's kind of and it looks cohesive. You can see I'm just dropping in a little darker shade here just to give it some dimension . You can imagine that this this, ah, color that your painting is the background, and it can be this could be a mistletoe hanging in a forest, or maybe even have have more mistletoe on behind behind it. So we wanted to be nice and textured, and you can totally go in with even more texture, like salt or water blooms or something like that, to create even more interest. I'm not going to do that here because I wanted to be a simple as possible just to understand this negative painting technique, but you can do it. Is this Christians you're like and just like before, I'm going to speed up this process and I'll see you in a second when we're going to sketch our next leader you . And now we're just going to go in and do our final sketch, and I'm going to do this branch on the right here just to took even out. The composition of it and you can see, is in the shapes us so easy to work with. It's just one branch working its way into some other branches and then some. Barry since and leaps just some nice curves to believes and the it looks really good. We do kind of get in. Ah, a little bit of trouble here, um, on the left side because we're on, we're behind two other brain jizz. So we have to kind of focus a lot. Teoh to get this right. It's a good thing to have your sketch lying around ah, next to you. So it's easier to focus. So you actually have your sketch both on your water car, paper and on your just regular paper. Just a quick sketch and I'm going to go in with an even darker wash here, please. And, um, just during the same as it did before. Just painting around over Negative, um, shape here, ending around in all negative space. Um, and just doing my my heart, which is next to Oma Chief, and softening the edges on the outside. And I'm going to go around both our new sketch, but also our our old ranges here in the foreground. We want those to stand out as well. You can see this technique really elevates would see So you can kind of reveals light and give some dimension to this opinion. A love, this technique. It's so cool. You can really see that the tough ranges in bright daylight and its getting darker and darker as you go Go away from the front And here I'm just going in with some water. You can see I switch my brush to a smaller size brush in. That is because we get into a lot finer detail here. The big brush is perfect for your initial wash, of course, and some of the biggest strokes. But we when we get into these small details, this is perfect. And as you can see throughout the video, I've been the turning My can was here Ah, lot, and you should totally do that. It's easier to get those hard edges when you just twist and turn a lot and just get your the perfect angle for your brush in your hand. Make it as easy as possible for you and again I'm going to speed up and you can just phone your you, - you . And now you can see those branches really shaping up. And it's time to get our final details in the darkest stocks, so I'll see you in the next listen. 7. Darkest darks and final details: Now it's time for the final details in there in the very darkest axe and you can see our background is actually pretty dark already. But we wanted to pop even more. So we're going in with a final blaze here. And this is very dark color, almost no water and just pending still in the negative space. But trying to to really just, you know, give it that last the final thing that makes it that makes it pop and the doc around our shape just really highlights the lighter parts. And I think this this step is actually one of the things that really makes this piece great . And you can also use these very dark, um shapes to kind of just fix those edges a bit if if they are a little uneven or made some mistakes and this is this is perfectly fine. And this is when you're using this much pain, it gets quite a pig in the and you can easily do minor re touches with it, and especially around us Paris, which we will have completely white. It's really nice to have that doc the color, because it really makes it makes it pop and you can see the method is it is totally the same as we did with the places before. We are just painting around our oh positive shapes and you just dying it. Where do we want our all background to be even darker. - Way finally have all our places. The hump we can go in with our eraser and remove are masking fluid and just carefully rub on top of it and you can just remove it like this. And it just reveals those this nice paper that really shines through. You could see it looks gorgeous. I love it. And now I'm actually going to try to remove a little bit of pencil line on on my paper here and you can't get rid of all of it. But be careful and you can You can try to remove a little, but don't ruin the papers, not worth it. Then I'm gonna go in with my fine line and I'm just going to assume in so you can see it a little better. And I like to use the fine line. Adjust to add some some details to the to the painting, and I'm just not outlining but I'm just trying to so do a little bit of accentuation here and around the Berries. And just to make it pop a little more and this is totally a style choice. You can easily leave it out and I think would be gorgeous, Uh, without it as well. Two small dots on the Berries and I'm only going to to put in here on the top range. The reason I'm doing that is because we wanted to be involved. Ground. We want the eye to look at that range in the the other ones. They're kind of just supporting actors. Um, And when you're painting, I think that's a very important thing to think about. Where do you want your eye to go and how can you? How can you kind of guide the division? And I like to use ink. You can use a lot of other stuff, but, uh, but fine line is is perfect. You want a waterproof fine liner because we, uh we might want to paint on top of this as well. And then we would be so annoying if it waas bleeding into the paint could be a statures as well. And it could be cool, but that's not what I'm going forward. So I prefer them waterproof and see him doing kind of a ragged line here. So no outlines and this is a syrah 0.1. So it's actually it's a pretty phone line, um, to make it a subtle assess, possible, but still defining those itches. I'm seriously digging this technique. I think it's so, so gorgeous. And look at all those colors of bleeding into each other. That is beautiful. And now I'm just going to go in with a little bit off a grazier tone here just to give some shadow to the Berries and the Twix in foreground. And again, that is the style chosen in Totally leave it out. I think it makes it pop a little more and again, we don't want those hard itches. So I'm just going in with my very fine brush and suffering those those inches. And I think this gray is actually a I think it's a dark Ah, it's ah, it's a black, just deluded a lot, and I'm just going in with a little very diluted, a swell green to give some some shadow to this bridge. and like with the the think I'm only going to go in on this top range to lead the I to the bridge and so opening those which is a swell. I don't want those hostages. Well, sometimes we do. But this time we don't want those adages. And again, I'm just going to turn around the paper, so I make it easier for myself. We want some some nice space on our table to be able to do that. And you can see I'm not doing a lot off pain here. It's just a little bit too. So let's show those shadows. And now we just want to remove our tape and we have done. And then we have our final painting here, and I think it's beautiful and I really hope youll pain along with me in the and uploaded in the Project Gallery so I can see it. And now we're just going to rev up and, uh, let us it 8. Let's wrap up!: thank you so much for taking this class with me. I really hope that you learned a new technique and that you'll try it out. It's super super fun. And even though it's called a negative painting technique, it's really not. It's it's super positive and fun. And one of my new favorites, I think. Eso police try it out and the police upload your class project in the Project gallery at love to see it and set me on insta premise. Well, I'll show that show you the handle In seconds we could find me. And if you like the class, please leave a review. And I'd love to hear what you think. And if you have any comments at all, please write them in the comments section and all. I'll be happy to answer anything you ask me. And, uh, I think that is it. So, until next time