Negative painting in watercolour

Autumn leaves


Through this interactive course we will turn the way we look at objects upside down and in the process discover that negative painting is far from negative! We will learn to reveal our subject by painting the space and air around it rather than by painting the object itself.

Negative painting is especially powerful in watercolour, as we will struggle to paint white or pale objects on a white paper. By painting the air around the object, we can capture its light and form.

With step by step guidance, we will first explore what negative painting is and why it is so important. We will move onto guidelines for successful negative painting, before pulling all our learning together in a study of autumn leaves. A pdf of notes and examples is included to act as a reminder of the course content.

What's included in the price?

Seven videos and multiple reference files.

What you will need

For this course you will need:
A sheet of watercolour paper approximately 30x30cm (10x10 inches), the heavier the better as we will be doing multiple washes – at least 140lb Not/Cold pressed surface.
Watercolour paint in autumnal colours eg quinacridone gold, gamboge, sap green, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, burnt Sienna, burnt Umber. If you are more a Spring or Summer person, you can easily change your palette of colours and turn the seasons around in your painting
A round brush, size 8/10
Salt, cling film/Sarin wrap if required
Hairdryer (each layer needs to dry thoroughly)
Two pots of water
Pencil and eraser
Water spray bottle, kitchen towel
We are going to use leaves to develop the idea of negative painting. Just a silhouette is fine (use Google), it doesn’t have to be a real leaf.


Liz Chaderton at Liz Chaderton Artist

This course is taught online

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Intermediate level
  • Limited mobility
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers
  • Wheelchair users


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