Layering leaves is probably one of the most fun ways to learn how to make negative painting. Lerraine Rimmelin master her own way to create depth on her painting with the same technique. The technique is basically by layering leaf shapes on one layer every time and the layers are actually on top of one another. Here is a little breakdown on how to make it.

  1. Paint Colorful Wash Base

The painting starts with a wash base on the entire canvas. It doesn’t matter what color you use. It is your chance to try and experiment on combinations of colors. However, it is important to decide on several colors as you’ll use it with consistency through the entire process. This is one of the fun parts of this technique. You get to find new combinations and use it.

  1. Leaf Shapes Trace

We can trace the shapes from any artificial or authentic leaves while the technique here uses free hands. Choose a color that is slightly darker than the wash base and start painting the negative of the leaves. Do it painting around the shape of each leaf. Then, blend the new wash to the paper outside pages. The picture here shows how Rimmelin adds salt as well for texture.

  1. More Layer Under

When you are done with the leaves shapes, let it dry. When it is dry, you are ready to make another layer. The technique should be the same as Step 2, but from now on, add a new layer under the previous layer, not over. Make one layer at a time and you shouldn’t paint over lighter shapes of leaves as they won’t sit on the top surface of the painting again. You can paint on leaves when you want to add details on it.

  1. Add Darker Layers

Each wash layer should be darker than the previous one, as seen on these images. It is okay to add colors to create depth and push the background further. Add details on leaves without making it darker. If you want to, you can paint the surrounding of branches and stems for more details, the same negative technique. As it gets darker within every wash layer, your painting gets deeper.

This technique is also fun as you get to paint the outside of an object to actually emerge it to the surface. Without you knowing it, you’ll soon find yourself painting outside the line naturally. Try now and don’t hesitate to add surprising color for the details.