Negative Painting & The Use of Clear Plastic Wrap

Although I love to read I would become bored if I had to read the same book over & over again no matter how much I loved the book. That is how I feel about painting. I love using my colors & brushes to make interesting images but I am constantly tweaking how I accomplish the final results. After seeing Jean Haines using ‘cling wrap’ or ‘saran wrap’ to create interesting marks on watercolor paper I thought I would find my own use for it in my painting process.


Negative Trees with saran wrap1_________________________________________________________

I applied a colorful wash and while the paper was still wet I stretched the plastic wrap as I laid it on the lower half of my paper. I crumpled the plastic wrap as I laid it on the top half of my paper. I had tree shapes in mind as I did this trying to make long vertical marks below & scrunched up marks on top. When dry, I gently removed the plastic wrap.


Negative Trees with saran wrap2


The plastic wrap left exactly the imprints I wanted. On the left I started negative painting a tree shape using a slightly darker pink color.


Negative Trees with saran wrap3


The first wash is completed and you can see the outline of the 3 trees and their many branches.


Negative Trees with saran wrap4


In this 4th photo I have half of the second layer of trees completed using a purple color I negative pained around the tree shapes.


Negative Trees with saran wrap5 copy


I use a darker wash to define the final layer of trees & branches.

The painting is complete and I enjoyed the interesting & organic marks left on the paper from the plastic wrap. Using these marks allowed me to direct the tree trunks & branches in unique directions creating engaging & intriguing forms.

This small (6″x9″) painting exudes energy & I will now see what I can achieve on a much larger sheet of watercolor paper.


Even if you love what you are painting, try something different and see how it changes how you paint. Even the smallest change could lead you into a new direction of painting. Have fun!


Paint with Me



~ by Lorraine Rimmelin on January 26, 2016.

4 Responses to “Negative Painting & The Use of Clear Plastic Wrap”

  1. A friend does this with her collage work using acrylics and she gets very nice effects just as you did.

  2. Thanks Michael 🙂

  3. Looks lovely !! Cool idea 🙂

  4. Thanks, glad you like it!

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