Skip to content

Anne-Laure Jacquart demos a perfect use of negative space

May 17, 2016

I’m always talking about using negative space when painting. (Say for instance, this example). I often call it The Three Big Shapes: Sky, Ground, Subject.

In this short video, watercolor sketcher Anne-Laure Jacquart gives you a *perfect* example of cutting a negative shape.

You’ll see her deftly cut her subject out of the sky and ground in only a few moments work. She makes it look easy!

This is exactly the kind of direct drawing with the brush that makes watercolor the ultimate travel sketching medium.

And – just a reminder – Anne-Laure is the sketcher who is replacing me as the lead sketcher on our planned travel sketching workshop to India.

I hope if you’ve ever wanted to travel and paint in such an exotic location, you’ll consider signing up with her! There’s only 15 total spaces <update: Only 8 spaces left as of May 17 > in the group, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. (Click here for more information on India in Feb 2017).

37 Comments leave one →
  1. May 17, 2016 11:51 AM

    Marc it was through you that I discovered her..Thank you..I feel I met 2 great new arists at the same time..
    She makes it look easy and so do you and Shari..and then I try..ce n’est pas du tout facile;)

  2. May 17, 2016 4:28 PM

    Marc as of today there are 8 places left on Anne-Laure’s workshop to India.
    Time for those interested to come on board.
    Thanks for sharing this, she certainly is exciting.

  3. May 28, 2016 12:00 PM

    Not to my liking. Why ain’t the Taj Mahal is white . By an blogger I appreciates the art but as an Indian I its irreverent

    • May 28, 2016 2:30 PM

      Thank you for your comment – as a Canadian, I had no idea the white color of the building was important. That is a great thing to learn from you.

      • June 7, 2016 4:32 AM

        Well, beauty of your painting is such i wish the monument was that shade :) oh yes I am an Indian too!

    • May 28, 2016 4:18 PM

      I understand what you feel about the colour of the Taj Mahal, but you must understand that as an artist, you see things differently then others. Anne-Laure is full of excitement, love and with it comes colour. I am sure there is no disrespect on Anne-Laure’s part. I have sat many a morning in the garden of the Taj Mahal, watching as the sun rose and the colours of this amazing monument changed from white to warm pink/rose/splashes of orange…maybe they were in my head but they certainly where there. I think it is the love that is in this building for those who consider it a place of worship and for those who look at it as one of the worlds most amazing memorials to the love of man and woman.

    • June 3, 2016 11:26 PM

      it wouldn’t be possible to depict the taj mahal with only white.. If you look at it you will see other colors, like anything.

      • June 4, 2016 12:09 PM

        I do agree with you TattooBaxter :) Even a pure white object has color. Sometimes quite a lot of color, as there are reflected lights and cast shadows. But on the other hand, I was interested to hear that feedback. It’s something I didn’t know was important to some people. I’m not a religious person, so I’m often taken by surprise. Ultimately, I can make something look bright-clean-white or I can make something look grungy-weathered-white – so it’s good to know what might be preferred by adherents. Maybe it’s like making a portrait painting. If I get to know the sitter, sometimes I have a sense of how they’d like it. If they be inspired by an idealized representation, or if they want the real-deal – big-nose and all :)

  4. May 28, 2016 3:12 PM

    Yu are so talented indeed! <3

  5. thesmilingpilgrim permalink
    May 28, 2016 4:39 PM

    Very cool stuff :) I posted a big famous lion piece down in watercolor too that everyone seems to love!

  6. May 28, 2016 11:39 PM

    Very lovely water coloring by Anne! Wish I could do the same ☺️

  7. May 29, 2016 12:08 AM

    Painting is such a beautiful activity

  8. Roseann Hanson permalink
    May 29, 2016 10:02 AM

    Lovely demonstration, including the colors of the sun on the domes. I have a question: what are the brushes that Anne-Laure uses in the video? Do you happen to know? Thanks Marc!

    • May 29, 2016 12:11 PM

      Hey Roseann – The larger brush is a squirrel hair quill – I think it might be a da Vinci Petit Gris – but I’m not 100% on that. The smaller is what they I was told is a ‘reservoir brush’ but I’ll be darned if I can google anything by that name. It’s shaped a bit like a wild onion – with a sphere at the base and a tapered round tip, similar to a rigger. This bulb at the base holds a lot of water which allows you to draw extremely long thin lines out of the needle tip. It can give you a different sort of mark making. I have one in natural hair, but they come in synthetic as well. ~m

  9. Zulfahrain permalink
    May 29, 2016 9:45 PM

    What an awesome demonstration you have! Greetings from Indonesia :)

  10. Adam Harkus permalink
    May 30, 2016 4:47 AM

    I always wanted to take up painting. This just re-ignited my interest

  11. May 30, 2016 7:06 AM

    Reblogged this on Nuberu and commented:
    Amazing painting… extraordinary talent, brilliant control and use brush.. The level of detailing and the strokes are mesmerizing.

  12. misscarrielynn94 permalink
    May 30, 2016 11:39 AM

    I’ve been a watercolor artist for 10 years and I find that I’m always learning something new, thanks for giving me that today, beautiful demonstration!

  13. flyart0 permalink
    May 30, 2016 2:48 PM

    I just finished a watercolor piece, Koi fish in a pond. This is very informative and helps keep new artist from over thinking so much, that tends to be the hardest part about starting anything. Thank you.

  14. May 31, 2016 8:30 AM


  15. May 31, 2016 2:49 PM

    Reblogged this on Wyrdwend.

  16. June 1, 2016 7:41 AM

    I find this version of the Taj Mahal and the artwork truly awesome even though the Taj Mahal is painted in color. Though I understand the sentiments of some people who would like to see it in it’s original white color.If you have been to Agra then you will certainly be awestruck by the huge white dome of the Taj Mahal as you approach it and find that it eclipses all of the vibrant color of the city.

  17. June 2, 2016 7:53 AM

    Thats cool!

  18. June 2, 2016 9:28 PM

    Thats beautiful! This painting, this video has inspired me! I love to paint. I am a beginner in the art of painting and scrapbook. Congratulations on painting and the excellent control and use brush.

  19. June 5, 2016 12:38 AM

    Beautiful ideas!

  20. June 7, 2016 4:53 AM

    It was just amazing and am speechless….if I ever get a chance to meet her, I would love it and would also love to learn from her :)
    I am from India and that was just a beautiful painting of Taj Mahal and also the photograph taken of it was amazing:)

  21. June 7, 2016 1:11 PM

    Ahhh I love this! I’ve just started dabbling with watercolor and I’m already in love. This just makes that love grow even more <3

  22. June 9, 2016 8:35 AM

    You are truly talented!! I miss painting! I wish I had more patience and time

  23. June 9, 2016 12:08 PM

    Loved the way you free handedly painted the Taj Mahal

    • sramachandran permalink
      June 10, 2016 10:50 AM

      Can’t fathom artists’ penchant for this structure called the tm. it is not a sign of throbbing life, no a symbol of growth or an image or ultimate artistry or a temple of learning -as in khajurao scuptures – but a structure that is nothing but a mausoleum. Lookup in free dictionary and the meaning of mausoleum is “noun, plural, 1. A large stately tomb or a building housing such a tomb or several tombs.
      2. A gloomy, usually large room or building. [Middle English, from Latin Mausōlēum, from Greek Mausōleion, from Mausōlos, Mausolus (died c. 353 bc), Persian
      Now pray tell this commentator why would one want to search the world and select this structure of all ? There is nothing encouraging in a tomb?

      • June 10, 2016 11:07 AM

        I’m not sure what you mean exactly about tombs at the TM, (I’m not very aware of the social role of this place – I hope to go there and learn about it someday) – but – even we did know it was a tomb – There is a concept in art called the Vanitas. It’s thought of in western art history as a christian concept (but it doesn’t have to be). It’s the idea that art can be symbolic of the transitory nature of life, and the “worthless nature of earthly goods and pursuits”. (To quote wikipedia). A person without religion would just say ‘Life is short, death is long”. All that I’m getting at here is I enjoy painting tombs and graveyards! They’re very inspirational to me :) Drawings I do in the cemetery at home are quite, contemplative and always make me focus on living life well.

  24. June 16, 2016 12:38 PM

    I will share your site with my sister, a watercolor painter.

  25. hobbyie permalink
    July 8, 2016 9:07 AM

    I used to draw and paint a little bit years ago. :-)

  26. July 9, 2016 1:24 PM

    Absolutely incredible! I couldn’t take my eyes off that video.


  1. Workshop Announcement: Painting Brittany with Anne-Laure Jacquart Sept 2-15, 2017 | Citizen Sketcher

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: