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Paint a flower still life with a negative painting technique

Green bouquet low res
Inspiration / Mixed media / Painting / Painting Flowers from Imagination / Painting technique / Popular posts / Step by step demonstrations

Paint a flower still life with a negative painting technique

In this mixed media on canvas piece, I wanted to experiment with techniques of negative painting, painting an abstract background and of course I could not resist adding some patterns 🙂

You might also like: Online art class: Painting Flowers from imagination in mixed media

Here are the steps I took to paint this mixed media Flower painting:

select a few acrylic ink colors

I started by selecting a few fluid acrylic ink paint bottles, I actually ended up using only the blue and green. I also used liquid matte medium.

apply gel medium on top of the canvas using a spatula

For this pouring technique, start by applying the fluid medium all over the painting with a knife or any other flat tool like a spatula.

add drops of acrylic ink on top of the gel medium

Then add some drops of fluid acrylic on top of the liquid gel.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.



Liquitex Acrylic Mediums

Gel mediums are ideal for extending a heavy body paint, to create impasto, relief, or sculptural effects. – Gel Medium, Gloss

a few drops of acrylic on top of gel medium

Here I used only blue and yellow fluid acrylic.

spread the acrylic paint and medium on the canvas

Then using the painting knife, I did spread the paint and medium around, this process allow very nice textures to form on the canvas.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.


Golden High Flow Acrylics

Incredibly flexible, Golden High Flow Acrylics have an ink-like consistency that lends itself to a wide range of techniques painting, drawing, staining, glazing, inking, hand-lettering, airbrushing, and more. – High Flow Colors, Set of 10

the abstract acrylic background has dried on the canvas

Once dried, the canvas looked like this. Now I looked at the canvas and tried to make out shapes from the abstract patterns. I decided to go for a flower theme.

painting the negative space with white acrylic

After quickly outlining the shapes, I painted around them with white acrylic.

all the negative space has been painted white

When all the negative white painting has been done,  the painting looks like this. Basically a few flowers, a vase and I was thinking the shapes on the right could be leaves. I find that I would need an extra leave on the left for balance and am scrubbing off a bit of the white background with alcohol and a stiff brush to add that extra leave.

glazing with acrylic paint

To make the vase different from the flowers, I am painting it with a layer of blue acrylic, the nice thing about acrylic paint is that it will most of the time be a bit translucent, so some of the patterns will still show on the vase under the blue paint.

painting flowers with a negative painting technique

As my painting process often involves working in many successive layers, I decide to add some color to the background to work on another layer.

spraying alcohol on the background

I am adding texture to that yellow layer by spraying some alcohol.

alcohol visual textures with paint beading on the canvas

Alcohol textures.

drawing leaves with a marker on canvas

I am adding patterns on the yellow painted background with a blue marker.

adding patterns on canvas with an oil based white sharpie

Then I am going to use an oil based white sharpie to add more designs and definition to the flowers and the vase.

I am a Blick Art Materials affiliate and I receive a small compensation for sales. That does not effect in any way the cost of the purchaser’s order but it helps me keeping the content of this blog free.

Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers, White, Medium Point

Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers are great for touching up wood and metal, personalizing belongings, or adding pizzazz to school projects. Decorate and add accents to a variety of items, even non-porous materials such as glassware and terracotta.

drawing small flowers with the white sharpie on canvas

I decide to change the leaves shapes into small flowers.

re painting the background with white acrylic paint

Last step is another negative painting in white of the background but this time I am painting around the new designs I just added.

painting a flower still life with mixed media on canvas starting from an abstract background

Finally I am adding a bit more designs with the blue marker on top of the newly painted white background. I like the semi abstract quality of the finished painting.

Green Bouquet
Mixed media on canvas
12 x 12 inches
original is sold- prints available here

5/5 - (5 votes)

Comments (26)

  1. arebelred95063400

    Beautiful as always. Will there be a class on this. If so I’m in

    1. Thanks:)
      , I have an online class where I am sharing videos about this technique here:
      There is also a DVD on the Artist’s Network here

    2. cara letho

      Lovely and thank you!

  2. Lynette Walton

    I find your technique fascinating I have fallen in love with your work Iam only beginning to learn ..I am a senior who is passionate about all art

    1. Thanks Lynette, This is great that you have this passion about art, I think it makes life more colourful 🙂

  3. Lynda

    Wow Sandrine, I just love your work and creativity.

    1. Thanks Lynda 🙂

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  6. […] Green Bouquet- Mixed media painting tutorial […]

  7. Dorothy Yuki

    Thank you for sharing. How fun!

    1. Thanks Dorothy 🙂

  8. […] Mixed media on canvas with acrylic, step by step painting tutorial […]

  9. Your eclectic approach to Green Bouquet confirms… it is not the subject of the painting that matters… it is how you approach… the technique used… to gain the affect you want. And not being afraid to add, remove or mix it up… to get that affect. Kudos.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth for your nice comment. I think experimenting and taking risks is what keeps the process of painting exciting for me:)

  10. Sian

    I really love this one and the technique is very interesting.

    1. Thanks Sian 🙂

  11. jen

    This is absolutely gorgeous!

    1. Thanks Jen 🙂

  12. Elizabeth Carr

    Thanks, Sandrine! I always enjoy viewing your newsletter/demos. I appreciate your inquisitive mind and experimental approach to art and materials. And a big CONGRATULATIONS for being one of the SPLASH 16 artists! Once again, I didn’t make it : (

    1. Thanks Elizabeth ! Keep up trying, I got rejected many times.

  13. Love this! I really enjoyed seeing it unfold too 🙂 The texture is wonderful, and the colors are … serene 🙂

  14. CINDY

    You are just so darned talented. I’m happy for you, but must say I’d give a limb to be able to do what you do!!! Enjoy getting new mail from you – makes my day.

    1. Thanks Cindy!

  15. H McILRATH

    Thank you Sandrine for this super demo. I love the colours you have chosen.Must give this technique a go.

    1. Thanks H McILRATH, Let me know how it goes.

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