Negative Painting Challenge - Landscapes In Layers

Here is a landscape that I painted after an afternoon hike with my little dog. Aless was interested in looking for birds, while my mind was on the rolling grasses, deep shadowy trees and low, grey sky. Back in the studio, I put my ideas down on paper with layers of watercolour. 
So here is your challenge; Can you figure out what was painted first, how the layers were organized and what came last? Don't peek at the solution until you ponder on this for a few moments!

Here is how it works with my approach using negative painting techniques

When it comes to negative paintings I always start with the objects that are closest to me and work back.

Next time you paint a landscape, try starting with the foreground, then build the middle-ground and finish in the distance (background). Another way of describing it would be; work from the bottom to the top. This painting is a watercolour but the same approach works well for other painting media too.

 I've made a diagram to show you the order of layers


The grasses were painted first, then the darks were laid down in the area I wanted to develop as trees. The cool blue grey established the outer edge of the trees and trunks (captured negative shapes). The final application of colour blocked in the sky. Remember that with negative painting you don't paint the object (i.e. the tree) - you paint around it!

Did you figure it out?

By the way, in case you were wondering, the blues and greys were made with Holbein Grey of Grey. It is wonderfully opaque and just like painting with velvet! 


Paper: Strathmore Gemini 140lb CP

Holbein Watercolour: Burnt Siennna, Raw Sienna, Cerulean Blue, Shadow Green, Grey of Grey

Brushes: Cheap Joes 1" Skipper, Holbein Gold #12 round, Low-Cornell flat 3/4" 7750 


Happy painting!