In The Studio: Creative White Shapes Part 1

Today and tomorrow,  I want to go over several paintings where I have used the white paper as the foil to make the darker values more interesting.  Remember that in transparent watercolor the white paper is the most powerful part of the painting.  Learning to design your paintings with this in mind will help  you move in the direction of expressive, creative and focused paintings.  Leaving random whites in areas of the painting without regard to their impact will diminish your chances of success.  DSC_0021watercolor on arches rough.  In this painting I really used the white paper to weave in and out of the subject matter I only painted the shadow patterns and the result is a bright and color piece.DSC_0029watercolor on arches rough.  I used interesting white shape all of which different in size shape and direction.  This makes the viewer move around the painting driven by the white of the paper.DSC_0027watercolor on arches rough.  I used the white paper to move the viewer through the composition giving a feeling of a continuous white shape but really it is broken up by trees, shadows, and textures.  These little breaks slow the passage through the painting.  Remember to vary the size shape and edge of each major shape.DSC_0026watercolor on paper.  I used just a dark value against white paper to make this painting, all of the subject matter is treated as one darker value and played against the stark white paper.  This gives the scene a glare and harshness that riding directly into the light on a snow field would create.DSC_0037watercolor on arches rough.  In this piece I am again making the composition all about the interesting white shapes.  Where I want a creative shape I use one.  I made this up out of my head but I have seen a lot of surf on the coast of Maine.  Remember vary you edges, think creative shapes, and paint with an expressive brush.  Tomorrow I will post some more of this series.

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

  • Colleen SaboDecember 11, 2013 - 5:12 pm

    Wonderful, fresh, just beautiful paintings!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Pat McSwainDecember 12, 2013 - 10:32 am

    These are wonderful examples of white shape designs.Thanks for posting such a variety–very helpful!ReplyCancel

  • MercedesDecember 12, 2013 - 8:02 pm

    This lesson about white shapes is really interesting. I´m wishing to read the next part 2. Thankyou Steeve.ReplyCancel

  • Louis StarkDecember 17, 2013 - 4:24 pm


  • Christine GacharnaDecember 26, 2013 - 10:03 pm

    love the cowboys in the snow 🙂ReplyCancel