An Interesting Technique

I recently had an assignment to do some watercolor paintings of fountains. If you’ve ever worked with watercolors you know that they work better as additives – it’s easier to make something darker, hard to make it lighter. So doing all the dark things behind or around the water in the fountain is a pain, especially in my style.

To solve this problem, I decided to try painting in the reverse colors. So a dark purple will become a light yellow when inverted. My first test piece proved to work wonderfully. Here are all the steps I went through. (Roll over images to see inverted version)


First, look at the original picture inverted to figure out what should be dark and what should be light. You can do this on your own, but it’s just easier to let the computer to do it and that way you won’t miss anything. (picture in reverse)

Test Piece

Do your test painting to figure out what colors work. Sometimes the result is much different than what you think it will be. (actual painting is pink)


Do your final piece and invert it on the computer. (finished piece in pink, click to see larger version)

Although this turned out to be an interesting technique, we ended up doing something very different for the project. I’ll be adding the finals to my portfolio soon.


  1. Ben on February 18, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Nice. Looks really nifty.

  2. Stephen on March 6, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Excellent idea, and beautiful work! That is Buckingham Fountain in Chicago?

  3. Nicole on March 9, 2007 at 7:38 am

    Why yes it is 🙂

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