Part II of Lesson 6: the exercise

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More Negative Space: Drawing the Ram

This is optional, but I invite you to do as many drawings as you can. In any art, quantity comes before quality. That's a little contrary to the old adage "quality, not quantity", but "practice does make perfect".

It's through practice that fluency comes. Learn the rules, internalize them and the day will come when you can throw them off.

Follow the same steps as you did above:

  • Draw a rectangular format, then duplicate it as exactly as you can on second sheet.

  • Place your object within one format. (you might want to size the format so the household object you're' drawing fits snugly within it - so the objects' edges touch the edges of the format. This makes for more defined negative shapes.)

  • Concentrate on the spaces around the ram, within it's horns, between the format and the rams shape, or between the ground and the ram.

  • Now, try to draw those spaces - not the object (i.e. not the ram). By default, you'll draw the object.

Close up of the head.

Here I've focused in on the rams' head. There's lots of interesting shapes in this picture. If you're feeling ambitious make a separate drawing of it too. (Use a square format.)

  • When you're finished drawing all the negative spaces, color them with a pencil or a marker. This will make them seem more real. In this illustration I've colored the enclosed spaces in blue.


Enclosed spaces are colored blue.

  • Stare at these colored shapes until you feel they real bona fide objects.

Illustrating more enclosed spaces.

Go to lesson 7

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