A Florida abstract architectural using positive and negative space



This has been a weekend of cool, rainy weather, perfect for spending time in the studio.  It is pouring again for the umpteenth time, even as I write this.

Before I started, I decided I wanted to take advantage of the beautifully colored landscaping in my pictures from Florida.  I created a colorful background to use as the basis for the abstract architectural.  This time I used a 10″x10″ piece of watercolor board to shorten the prep time necessary and also so I could work on a smaller scale. Here you can see the background I prepared earlier today. Again, because I had a photo in mind, I placed the colors with a little bit of purpose.  I let it dry and then actually remembered to take a photo before I began the inking.

...and after

…and after

I based this sketch on an interesting photo of a backyard pond and bridge.  I used the nib pen for a change and unfortunately it managed to leak a large drop of ink (twice!) while I was working on the bridge, so this also became an exercise in positive and negative space.  After it happened the second time, I figured there was something wrong with the nib itself so I discarded it and used a spare.  I will look at this tomorrow and see if the black still looks balanced enough and if I need to add a bit more color. I think I will add something for shadowing, just as I did with the porch on the last one. I was so mad over the ink blots that I forgot to do that, which may be why it doesn’t look quite right yet.  That will only take a short period of time to do, but should vastly improve the watercolor.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cindy D.
    May 05, 2013 @ 21:21:52

    Such a really neat technique! Do you think you’ll leave most of the color as is, or will you maybe fill in that large branch a bit or add more color definition to some of the foliage? That’s what occurs to me… but I often have a tendency to overwork things and it’s all a delicate balance. I don’t see ink blots so you did a good job with them. 🙂


    • ruthsartwork
      May 05, 2013 @ 21:41:42

      Thanks, Cindy. I’m glad they weren’t overly apparent. I can still see them though. LOL The first one was a big one that flowed down the lower part of the let side of the bridge because I had the picture angle up on the table. The second one was on the back inside of the bridge and it flowed down too. After that I got smart and changed the nib and laid it flat.

      I think I will at least add some shadowing to the bridge and water tomorrow. I have to work out the tendency to overwork something too, but I think it still needs some depth yet.


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