Negative Painting with Ink Washes | Bianca Haeck | Skillshare

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Negative Painting with Ink Washes

teacher avatar Bianca Haeck, Drawing on Inspiration!

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.

      Supplies and Setting Up


    • 2.

      Background Washes and Layer 1


    • 3.

      Continuing Our Layers


    • 4.

      Finishing Our Layers and Fun Flourishes


    • 5.

      Ways to Use Negative Painting and Final Thoughts


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About This Class

In this class students will learn how to use negative painting, or painting around objects, to create a forest scene in ink washes. This is such a simple technique, it's perfect for anyone, no matter your artistic skill level! Make fun cards, or cute scenes, your options are endless!

Lesson 1:

The first lesson involves a quick introduction, and then delving into the materials needed for the class, and a quick setup.

 You will learn:

  • What materials to use
  • How to set up for optimum results
  • What to expect in the next classes

Lesson 2:

We begin by diving into the wet-on-wet technique for a background wash to get us started, then we begin with our first layer of trees in the foreground.

You will learn:

  • How wet-on-wet works
  • How negative painting actually works
  • Tips for making your process smoother

Lesson 3:

We continue on with our layers, go further back towards the horizon, systematically darkening our background as we go. We experiment with tree shapes and sizes, as well as placement.

You will learn:

  • How to build layers from light to dark
  • How to create the illusion of distance

Lesson 4:

In this lesson we finish up our class project, doing the final and darkest layers. We will then learn a fun way to use white, opaque pens to create interesting details on our dark background.

You will learn:

  • How to apply the tips collected along the way
  • How to use white, opaque pens to create fun flourishes

Lesson 5:

The last lesson will show examples of how negative painting can be used in future projects, plus other tips on how to use multiple ink colors in your pieces.

Students should post their class project once finished to share with the class. Also, please leave comments and feedback, I always enjoy hearing from you! :)

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

Related Skills

Art & Illustration Painting
Level: Beginner

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1. Supplies and Setting Up: Welcome back today. We're gonna be doing something really fun that I'm doing for this lesson. We're gonna be talking about negative painting, but were specifically going todo washes. You may have found some videos here on skill share. Ready? Have some water color painting techniques, which is great. But since we just had a October last month, we're going to be practicing. Thanks. Cover what supplies will be needed to do this on. Then we're gonna hop right into technique. This is really easy and fun at anybody. So what have you recommended? Let's get started. So here we go with our supplies. As you can see, I've got quite a lot of things here in my desk, but this is really kind of easy to get through. So, first and foremost, you're going to need some kind of a black is traditional and easy is one of my people to work with. I just have something very simple like this. A waterman black ink on. This is what I'm going to be primarily working with for today's lesson. So something that works fine. And then we also have Here's blue. Uh, you can use any color you like Here's another blue that I have. I have violent if you'd like to try out something and violence and then another blue. But today I'm only going to be using black thin. Naturally, Since we're going to be treating Inc like watercolor, you're going to need some water. Now. You can have two jars of water, one that's going to be for cleaning your brush and the other for using as a clean dip. But I only use one because in the end it's going to look muddy anyway, So it doesn't bother me that you guys try. You're going to need some kind of pan to distribute your ranks into I have this. This used to be in older and egg tray for the fridge, and of course you're going to need brushes. I have different kinds years. You can see. Uh, this is basically to do the big wash and then medium in between and in the finer details with trees. But you can work with basically one brush is also just fine. You're going to need some kind of tissue paper. It can be to other people, or it could be a kitchen. Uh, what is this paper towel. And just so that you can clean your brushes off in between. That's very important. Then you're going to need watercolor paper. This is important. So for this one, I have 280 grams watercolor paper, so it's quite thick and minus slightly textured, which is perfect for this kind of fainting. And you're going to need some kind of masking tape to hold down your paper so it doesn't buckle. So these are the basics of what you're going to need. Now we're gonna do quick set up, and then we're going to get rolling with our painting. 2. Background Washes and Layer 1: Now that we have everything set up on goods ago first thing we have to do t o back wash. Now what you need to do is if you have a slightly thicker brush way should pick that up first thing we're gonna dio bringing We're gonna do what? On weeks? First water don't apply it alot over the page. Show you what? I'm just a minute too much of your ground just like that And don't mind pretty have matched make their way on the page Sometimes happens So okay, just keep going here. Just stop right here because this is going to be where the ground is. So don't cover down here on the bottom. Third, this part here. So you have that done Another thing. You can also do this years three different kinds of things. Right now I'm only using one I'm using. But if you use through different currents thanks like the purple blue in the back, you can splash them in different places around and get a different kind of feeling and I'll show you exactly back later. Once we're finished this demonstration, what other kinds of things you can do. So now here that I'm satisfied that have enough that I'm going to dip into my most water down just like that and start applying it lighter in some areas darker and others way Don't have to find too much. Beginning. Can't force if you want. Another thing you notice is which is something. Of course you can do if it makes you, I find that this way is a lot more free. And if you make a mistake, it doesn't matter because you won't see any pencil lines or anything showing where you were planning on going. So you just go with it. Here we come to base. Leave some nice. Where ground. Now it's half on your back. Get a hair dryer and dried off. If not, just wait till this dry spoke quickly before moving on to the next phase. But I'm going to now use my hairdryer quickly and drive the soft. Okay, Now that we're fairly sure it's nice and dry. No wet patches. There were no ink picking up. Then we carry. So now I'm going to middle fresh here to start with treatment. Now you're going to work from light into dark. So again we're gonna go to our I think this is our most water down start in there for this first layer. So just I mean, you start picking out. What we're doing is sitting in a tree outlining trees, saying this'll treat here. I think this tree a neighbor we're gonna make a small French. I remember doing outline of tree inside of a tree. No, actually doing making French way. Do Here I was feeling space between with this water. Make sure it's not too dark. So if it didn't dusters get to dark. Add water. Here is key painting houses. Just experiment. Go over trick. What do you have a place to hear fruits later on, when there's more pounds and branches going on yet way have our first tree beginning of your sex waken Decide how we want this one to look this one slightly filling space. Now we're assuming that this is false. Obviously there's no foliage leaves on all these fronts. Trees should be come up to rest your name on the paper on your skin trained, I get just I think in some areas it could be darker and other areas could be lighter. It's all about what kind of effect that you want to get out of this because in and you're gonna get a deep first. And after these demonstrations I will show you who you can actually use, that corporate characters and scenery make image. It's very first time. Do basically anything. You don't just have to trees but chooses the easiest way to demonstrate this. And then we'll say that there's just beginning of treated that way things into two. Is that a dry lighter? So even if you think you had an affair, which in this case is to our advantage because we don't want it to be too dark right away when filling in the dark areas way Okay, so there we have our first true switch looking at right now facing. So we're standing here looking for trees again. You don't want to take your dryer if you have for lecture, painting wrist and make sure it's completely dry before you move onto the next layer. 3. Continuing Our Layers: checking again. It's nice and drop. Good. Okay, Now again, we pick up our middle brush and now we started a second there. So the trick here is since things are moving into the distance every time you have to lift the trunk of the next layer of treason would hire. So now we're going into a second layer, so we're gonna make level of trees after that back. We're still using lightest color here, only going to use to darkest once we get towards the back where their deepest shadows. So here we go, these air still fairly, the same size trees as are ones that we have front. So way Branch coming up here. I feel that in remember not to paint over the ones you've done for. So your front trees, this one's friends are here French just before you're filling in, Yeah, spaces between to start making these deep shadows. Now the radiant that you choose to use for it up front. I was going to determine how dark your woods trying to get quickly. So if you want to be very dark very quickly, then you use obviously the darker mixes that we have. But if you wanted to slowly fade into a dark forest, then we're going to do it like this. So not paint over our previous painting or front painting here. That Frank Rich. So you have to keep thinking the whole time you're painting distance. Can't paint over things that have come before way. Carry on with this tree. We're going to make it over here twisted. We have to make it to here. No way. Just like that. Lift stuff again here and keep going to the top. So you get determined. Are your trees make more gnarly? You could make some sin bulky, like oaks. It's up to you so you can have some models of trees in front of you to get the feeling for their shape and go from there. But I just tend to free hand them to give it a more natural effects. You don't fall is often to check your reference. You just go with it, Which is what makes us so fun. You can't really go wrong here. Just as long as you paint over any of the four ground you just put in. You're fine. The stuff that we have already what I love about this specific Think this is not any kind of it's not meant 4 to 6 corpses. This is for depend this Specific Inc It actually kind of leaves a blue ticks and a brownish tint when it dries. If it's mixed with water, which is what gives it thes locally. Hughes in the woods. This is why I want using this so much. Okay, and now we're coming up on this side. Smells Toby branch here, French thing. Trunk French that way. And then again, just filling in those in between spaces watching out for your previous treats. People today don't smudge your hand painted previously because you will carry that with you over the painting. So try to keep your hands slightly lifted again. Go over those lines that you have used to outline your trees so they blend in with you there just like isn't coming along nicely. I think it started really great. Remember to use brushes that you don't learn sacrifice and think because they will pick up the big night and they will stay in those parcels again. Time to drive between the layers. Check way. Movinto, our third layer. Now we're going to be good. Keep going until I feel satisfied. Shadows. You can stop at any point where you feel you have about trees and shadows now moving into the third layer. So again, we're moving into the distance of these trees for further back. Start here. Start making these guys center just like space. His name is going to be here. I'm going to make this lunch is going straight up branches meets a birch tree or something , filling in the spaces to cover those lines again. Sometimes your lines will be to light and they'll save. Don't panic. You could just keep going and make a new line if you need to start a specific design in mind for your tree, so just take your time and check for the lines. 4. Finishing Our Layers and Fun Flourishes: we're going to say that this tree is here. It's going to be fairly close to actually make it like this that way. This neighbor branch trying to text it is keep now, the rougher the paper is that you are using for water color the better because it will what tear or bubble or basically start becoming like paper mache. A. If you keep replying, these layers gonna be applying. Find a few. So I don't recommend a sinner type of border cover paper A fairly thick is great for this. Otherwise you're going to be very careful with the water use because it basically flood. You're watercolor paper if you use too much with week of can't handle that kind. So that's why I recommend 280 grams or more to do this with the trees, feeling right here space. Leave the rest of tough like that fill in here again. I'm going over the lines of the other trees a little bit. Doesn't really going treat side. It's bending. I have no over trees were ever friends you like. This is your forests that were busy painting here, So you're completely in control. Just remember to keep them all the truth trips in line for the roots are they start so that they don't overlap and go in the wrong direction. Make it a phone tree. Hopefully find out. You guys are getting the hang of this. It shouldn't be too tricky to follow to something here. Careful, these trees. As you can see, if you've been using in quashes fairly sparingly here, like I've been doing, it will naturally start to build onto each other, which will make these shadows in the background pop just again in your bush and to dry and always check that it's nicely dry. Okay, so now what I'm going to do is I'm going to speed up my process and keep going further into the shadows until I'm done. So you guys don't have to sit around and watch me paint all these layers in real time, which is time consuming slow. But again, just remember, as you're going through this, each layer the tree trunk starts, it would further back into the distance. Um, you can go back as far as you want, but I'm probably going to stop around here somewhere, most likely. And that'll be it So now I'm gonna speed this up and just keep painting. So now I'm doing the final layer, which is also going to be my darkest layer. Already got fairly far into the dark shadows here. I'm just going to again Keep outlining some bows and tree trunks. Be very for a very very thing. You're satisfied trees in there? No, this is the fun part here because Jonah, to be that accurate anymore. Since it's in the distance and they're tree trunks actually start crisscrossing further back, you look into the distance so you can just start making patches of black like this to thought. Make sure you find that fairly well and that it makes sense if you look at it, Remember, we're still keeping away from the layers that we've just painted. So don't paint over foreground labels between them. I'm doing no. And then it starts to look like this in the end, darkest layers of cars fading into distance, just like using nothing but solid and cured shouldn't be any border. Now keep working across the page changed and there we have it, lightest in the foreground, all the way to the back. But quickly drive us off, and then I'm going to show you a neat trick that you can do with jelly roller pen. Let's quickly dry this off. Okay, nights and ride. So now with jelly roller, we're basically any opaque type of white pen. You can add some effects in here. I'm going to add snow because it's not winter time here in Finland, and we're getting our first snowfall. All you have to do now that the Incas dried. It's going with your opaque pen and you can make snow coming down. Make your snowflakes its thickness. You want Standish in what you can make fancy, um, shaped like a star kind of snowflake. So you can just do them around balls like I'm doing. Make sure that you get a pen that's really nice and opaque so that it doesn't just fade now . This jelly rollers fairly good, But sometimes, like here, when you can see the darkest patches doesn't always pick up that well anyway. So this is just a neat little idea how you can punch up your piece without having to add very much more to it in some white dots. So now I'm going to go ahead again. I'm going to fast forward this so that you guys don't have to watch me fill all these in in slow motion. And then I will catch up with you again when I'm done. Here we go. - So there you have. Now we have created our negative painting in Quashes Triscuit. Isn't it fun? Isn't it great that so easy and soothing and you can do so much with it? So next up, I'm going to show you guys what kinds of things you can actually use. Negative painting for what kind of creations you can dio. There's a lot of things you can actually use it for its great fun. So I'm going today. I'm fasten this using my blow dryer again because the heat helps it not tear the paper, And then I'll show you some examples. So that's first remove adhesive tape from masking tape. So there we have it. There is our lovely negative painting with ink washes. It turned out fairly cool. I think I'm very happy that one. So next time I'm gonna be sharing you guys what kind of paintings and pieces you can do using this style. So that's check that 5. Ways to Use Negative Painting and Final Thoughts: As I said, here are some examples of things that have used the negative painting. Four with thanks. So you can create little characters in a would escape just like this. And then you can use the same thing that we did with our snowflakes at the top. There just something cute like that and you can frame it however you like. You can make a card. Here is one word. I used the three inks that I was talking about, where the backwash first with the blue, purple and black and you can see here ghost and a bit there moon and trees. And then here I did again, negative painting with these trees. And then here's another example where I used all three of Thean colors so you can see the perform the blues picking up here as my back wash. And then, of course, the negative painting with the trees behind my character. And then this is my most recent painting that I did a little while ago and again in the background. Nice negative painting using a washes and then two characters bring some focus to the foreground, so there's lots of ways to use this It's great fun and looks beautiful in a piece. So go ahead and make your own experiments with your own characters or whatever you have. And please let me know how that goes. I'd love to see you work. Please post your final tree line. I'd love to see how yours came out at this year's look like minded years of different any kind of comments that you have a bad that if you added your own caricaturing their great I'd love to see what kind of practice runs you guys have been doing. So please upload them and thank you so much for joining me on this front journey. I hope you guys have enjoyed doing negative paintings and washes and let's get cracking paint away, guys, Thanks and see you in our next class.