The second skill of drawing:
Negative Spaces
lesson revisited
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What's negative space drawing? It might make more sense if we talk about "positive forms" first. A positive form is the actual thing you're drawing. You could be drawing a hand, a boat, a string sculpture, a person. It doesn't matter. Positive forms are usually things we have names for. We can put our hands on them. 

When it comes to drawing, this business of "naming" can get in the way. (You'll find out how and why below.) Naming makes things too familiar. Naming things places your focus on memory - rather than on the real time information coming in through your senses. By placing your concentration on the spaces in and around what you're drawing you'll make difficult objects a whole lot easier to draw. That's our focus today :-)

Listing the five skills of drawing:

1) the perception of edges 
2) the perception of spaces - today's lesson
3) angles, perspective, and proportion
4) light and shadow
5) the gestalt

Note: Due to the way the Flash Lessons are constructed and due to limitations within Flash technology itself, the links contained within the interactive lesson point to the online book (links of the "http://www...." type). All the same pages those links aimed at are within the book in front of you. 

For your convenience, the links contained within the Flash Lesson "Negative Space" are repeated in their order of appearance within the table below. (Specifically the right half of the table - just read the  headline for each column :-) Further, they're linked to the book as it sits on your computer - they won't open a browser and you don't need a web connection to open them. What a deal :-) If you want to see if any new additions have been made to the online page, go for it and click on the links within the Flash Lesson or click on the links in the left hand column below. If you want to access those pages rapidly, refer to this list: 

On-line, out there on the Web - where you can find updates (if any) - click on any of these and a web browser will open. Click on these links and you'll be whisked to these pages  right within this book
Archives Archives
Lesson 4 Lesson 4
Old school gif  animation Old school gif  animation
Guide Guide
Instructions Instructions
Flash Lesson (modified Contour) Flash Lesson  (modified Contour - in fact click here for that 
Flash lesson :-)
Lesson 7  - (viewfinder) Lesson 7  - (viewfinder and proportion stuff)
This page...modified contour This page...modified contour
Flash lesson: 
modified contour

Lesson 7 animation

Lesson 7...again

Previous Flash lesson


Lesson 7 animation

Lesson 7...again

Previous Flash lesson

Exercises_1 (you're here :-)

Negative space drawing practice


OK! Lot's of links here to about 30 hand-picked photos for all the negative space drawing practice you'd ever want in a day! :-). It's definitely preferable to eventually do these kinds of drawings while looking through your picture plane / viewfinder while you're learning the foundations of drawing. Of course if  you're stuck on a desert island and have nothing to draw... :-)

Make sure you employ the techniques you're learning in the "Flash Interactive" lessons. These skills will really come into play when you start drawing faces, caricatures and, well anything!

I'm throwing out a challenge

I'll happily post (forever and include in the book), any of your negative space drawings of any of the pictures here. (contact me through email). So have at it!

Feast your eyes:

ram.jpg (91773 bytes)

road-runner.jpg (70429 bytes)

rockn-chair-dy.jpg (102426 bytes)

wire-chair-rdy.jpg (89397 bytes)

wire-chair-2-rdy.jpg (110154 bytes)

tinker-toys copy.jpg (82541 bytes)
boats1-sails.jpg (95599 bytes)

boats2 copy.jpg (80997 bytes)

boat-silouhette.jpg (68878 bytes) bridge copy.jpg (88658 bytes) cactus2.jpg (90561 bytes)
chair-beach-rdy.jpg (107080 bytes) chairs1 copy.jpg (77340 bytes)

chairs12 copy.jpg (74055 bytes)

chairs13 copy.jpg (59581 bytes)

chairs132d copy.jpg (77094 bytes)

chairs1-director copy.jpg (55336 bytes)

donkeys.jpg (84430 bytes)

foot bones copy.jpg (46900 bytes)

foot bones2 copy.jpg (55904 bytes)

frog copy.jpg (52754 bytes)

insects111 copy.jpg (50146 bytes)

insects1112 copy.jpg (57341 bytes)

insects113 copy.jpg (70946 bytes)

insects11322 copy.jpg (66424 bytes)

man-on-rock-up-north.jpg (54236 bytes)

minneapolis.jpg (103231 bytes)

plants13.jpg (93510 bytes)

plants14.jpg (97026 bytes)

plants15.jpg (110574 bytes)

plants1528aa.jpg (111471 bytes)


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