Art Techniques | 13 May 2016Creating Negative Shapes Share article facebook twitter google pinterest It’s time to experiment! Grab your watercolors and some tape and bring your creativity. Water Paper Paint: A Creative Card-Painting Kit, guides you through creating negative shapes using simple tools you have around the house. Use tape, ready-made stencils, and handmade contact-paper stencils to create a richly layered painting full of shape and color. Materials Low-tack painter’s tape Ready-made paper alphabet stencils Contact paper Scissors Craft Knife Fine-tip permanent marker Wood or fiber board, larger than paper size Round brushes Watercolor paints Piece of hot-press watercolor paper or card Jars for hot water Paper towel or fabric blotter Palette Process 1. Cut or tear the watercolor paper to size or choose a card and adhere to a wooden or fiber board support. 2. Cut three to five geometric shapes out of the contact paper. The positive and negative parts of the stencil can be used. Remove the adhesive backing and space the stencils on the fresh watercolor paper. Make washes of color across the entire paper using a large round brush, being sure to paint over the stencils (fig. a). 3. Once the paint is dry to the touch, remove the stencils (fig. b). To add more layers, apply the same stencils in new locations on the paper (fig. c). Wash the paper again with another color (fig. d). 4. Now select letter stencils, like those used for sign painting, commonly found at hardware or office supply stores. Choose an area of the piece to repeat a pattern of letter shapes, perhaps near the bottom or top of the paper. Hold the stencil down securely. Use a small brush to dab bright color through the stencil (fig. e). Then, lift the stencil and place it in a nearby spot. Continue painting with the stencil to make a repeating pattern. 5. With a fine-tip permanent marker, draw a specific shape on the back of a piece of contact paper. Make three to five shapes in various sizes or forms and adhere them to the painting (fig. f). This time select or mix a dark color such as blue or green to add depth and contrast to the previous layers (fig. g). Use the smaller brush to paint over and around the stencils. Once dry, remove the stencils. 6. Finish the painting by adding details and small shapes. Try tiny circle stencils, add more hand-cut stencils or paint over strips of masking tape to incorporate lines. Masking tape makes a good covering tool, resists bleeding, and offers a smooth edge (fig. h). Considerations Finally, are there areas that need darker values? Are more intense or bright colors needed to unify the painting? Perhaps some simple brushstrokes can define the existing shapes. When you have decided it is complete, carefully remove the tape from the edges of paper (fig. i) . Buy from an Online Retailer US: This inspiring, everything-in-one card-painting kit blends traditional watercolor painting techniques with a fresh, contemporary sensibility. Learn unique techniques and design ideas for making beautiful, hand-painted greeting cards from the full-color 32 page book. Once you’re ready to try the techniques out yourself, you’ll be all set to go with the included 4 blank greeting cards, 6 postcards, 4 tubes of watercolor paint, and two paintbrushes. This kit is a wonderful launch point for making eye-catching greeting cards that will inspire all who receive them. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.