Painting into the negative space

During the Margaret River Region Open Studios event, I signed up to partake in a workshop with Fi Wilkie.

I love Fi’s whimsical surfer grommets, landscapes and vases of flowers. But even more than the subject, I love her colour palate (very close to my preferred palate!), and that she makes her work look effortlessly joyful.

Fi promised to share her unusual technique, which has evolved over many years, and perhaps to help us think about how to develop our own style.

I won’t divulge Fi’s technique here — that’s up to her to share (which she does, incidentally, via her various art workshops and outings in Margaret River).

I will, however, share the image I completed during my first workshop with her, which involved a lot of “looking for the negative space”… Quiet a mind-bender to paint the positive by painting the negative!

painting into the negative space

“Coming Home” by Anita Revel

What is negative space ?

Negative space, according to Creative Bloq, is “the space that surrounds an object in a image. Just as important as that object itself, negative space helps to define the boundaries of positive space and brings balance to a composition.”

Normally it’s the positive space we see — the tree, the house, the body… But train the eye to see the space between these objects, and you’re seeing the negative space attributes of the scene. It takes some practice, but the results are interesting!

Shine on!
❤ Anita Revel

PS This is week 18’s piece for my Art Challenge of 2015…  Follow me on Facebook to stay in the loopity-loop of my produce-a-piece-a-week challenge.

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Behold the light!


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