On top of learning how to control watercolours, there are also a variety of techniques to learn that will help you achieve depth and a solid painting. One of these techniques is negative painting.
In essential principles, negative painting is when you paint around a shape and not the actual shape of the object.
In the sketch above you can see I painted around the lightest trees with the darker layers of paint. However in this painting I only did one layer of negative painting, painting the second and third layers of paint (red and dark red).
The second practice sketch I did was much larger. The larger paper sized allowed me to more easily add more layers of negative painting without feeling too cramped.
Using the same colors as earlier, I left complete white of the paper. I could have easily tinted this color with a light wash, but since this was a sketch and just for practice I wasn’t too focused on getting the picture to look “perfect”. Since this practice piece was larger, I also choose to add more details to the negative layer shapes. You can see this the clearest at the edges of the painting, where each layer has a more positive painting effect where I implied foliage.
It’s always good to practice combining and shifting negative and positive painting in the same area to imply areas of foliage.