Creativity Workshop: Positive Negative Responses

In the October issue of Watercolor Artist, Brenda Swenson challenged readers to use negative painting techniques to capture their subjects in watercolor. The response was incredibly positive, making this one of the most successful “Creativity Workshops” of all time. We’re now pleased to announce that the “editors’ choice” and the winner of our prize is Alexis Lavine for her painting, Fresh Decaf (watercolor on paper, 24×18), pictured above. Lavine had the following remarks to share about her painting process:

“This watercolor relied heavily on negative painting techniques. I started with a wet-into-wet underpainting, using the three primary colors, to tone the paper and introduce color where I knew I would be wanting it. Then I painted around the shapes in the coffee machine, carafes, cups, sweetener and window panes. Within those shapes I painted around highlights, reflections and smaller descriptive and abstract shapes, to add interest, depth, complexity and color. Towards the end of the painting, I glazed on a few shadows and the orange accents in a positive manner. But, for most of the painting, I was adding glazes negatively and watching the positive shapes emerge! By the way, I thought it was a fascinating challenge to create a painting based on a subject, which most people might not think twice about. We’ve all seen coffee machines like this, and we pour our coffee without giving them a second glance. I’m hoping that my painting will grab my viewer’s attention and command a second glance–and the appreciation of how an ordinary, everyday object can truly become an interesting and compelling piece of art!”

Congratulations to our winner and all those who entered their work! For details about the next Creativity Workshop challenge, or to learn how to enter your work for a chance to win the prize, click here.




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One thought on “Creativity Workshop: Positive Negative Responses

  1. buckhuntergirl

    I subscribed to Watercolor Magazine & didn’t get it before this contest was already over. This painting is very nice, however I would really like to show the one I did too.