Watercolor With The Non-Dominant Hand

I belong to several Art Associations and I receive numerous ‘call for artists’ each month giving me opportunity to show my art in a variety of venues. One of my favorite associations is the East End Arts in Riverhead NY. They recently asked for submissions to a show titled ‘ART OF THE NON-DOMINANT HAND’   I am right-handed therefore I had to create a painting done entirely with my left hand. My first reaction to this theme was ‘why, that’s crazy!’ But, after talking to some of the artists who were submitting art to this show and listening to their favorable experiences I thought I would give it a try.

I set up my desk by switching my palette, brushes & water containers to my left, instead their usual place which is on my right. I planned to paint a subject I was comfortable with so I did a colorful wash to get me started. While the wash was wet I laid a few pieces of clear wrap, like Saran Wrap, on the paper. I used my fingers to scrunch & slightly twist the wrap into a several shapes. Then I let the paint dry before removing the wrap. It left very interesting marks on the paper.

Next I started to paint on the left side of the paper where I saw a usable image that I felt would be perfect for a flower. Using my love of negative painting I painted around the floral shape creating a flower.

You can see, in the picture below, the start of my painting. I have not touched the interior of the flower, I have only painted around the flower and on the lower left where you can see the negative painted stems or shapes.


LEFT IN THE GARDEN1_____________________________________________________________________

I continued painting only the negative space outside the floral shape on the right and in between the two flowers. Look at how important the small green shapes between the flowers are. They create the stem and petals or leaves.When I paint I want you to decide what things you see within my paintings so I allow you the viewer to see what ever you want to see. I am never offended when someone says they love the leaves when I was really trying to convey petals. It is most important that you like my paintings and I don’t worry about what objects you are seeing.


LEFT IN THE GARDEN2_____________________________________________________________________

Painting the delightful shapes within each flower, which were created by the application of clear plastic wrap, I add detail by darkening and adding layers of color to that area. Using washes of greens & pinks I complete the upper right side of the painting.

All of this was done with my left hand 

It was not as hard or frustrating as I thought it would be, yet there were some challenges. I had to constantly think about which way to position the paper so I could see the tip or point of my brush. I hadn’t thought the direction of the brush would change so much that the position of the paper needed to change also. My biggest surprise was that something so simple & easy like washing my brushes during the painting process would become so difficult that I was splashing water everywhere each time I dipped the brushes in the water containers. I needed to keep plenty of paper towels on hand for the extra puddles of water I was creating. 




I decide, when the painting was completed, to sign my art using my left hand. I usually sign using watercolor paint but for this project I thought pencil would be much easier to handle. I am very happy with this painting titled “Left in the Garden”

I would highly recommend trying this process and seeing what your results would be. You do not have to enter it into a show like I did but if you like the results please share it with me, I’d like to post your paintings here so contact me if you would be willing to share.


Paint with Me



~ by Lorraine Rimmelin on April 25, 2016.

5 Responses to “Watercolor With The Non-Dominant Hand”

  1. This is a really cool idea. I am left-handed and would be an interesting experiment! Let’s see if I find the time (always the rub)….

  2. Yes Laura it was a fun way to experiment with painting. Hope you can find the time to give it a try. 🙂

  3. I hope so too, and thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Amazing that you created that with your non dominant hand, I’m intrigued to try for myself 🙂

  5. Hi Thanks for the positive feedback. I hope you do try this. Let me know how your art comes out.

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