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Why a
viewfinder? In
In the
first part of lesson 6, I had you looking at a chair and
focusing on and recognizing its negative spaces. You may
want to review that to make sure it's fresh in your mind.
(See
An 8 &1/2" x 11" sheet of light **cardboard**, or heavy paper,A **ruler**or something that you can use for a straight edge,A **scissors**or X-acto knife,and a **pencil**.
Since most of your drawings will be on rectangular paper, an 8 & 1/2" by 11" construction paper or cardboard will work fine for this.
This next
note is important. The viewfinder must mimic closely,
hopefully If you're
trying to reproduce the negative space's shape inside the
I'll say
it one more time. If you're going to be doing your
drawing within a
I
mentioned above you need to keep your viewfinder 1) Tear the gray cardboard back off an 8 & 1/2" x 11" paper pad. (Typewriter paper pads have those really nice squared corners.) 2) Grab your ruler and draw a big "X" on the cardboard by drawing 2 diagonal lines from the top corners down to the opposite side's lower corner (that is, from the upper left corner, down to the lower right corner, then from the right upper corner diagonally to the lower left corner.)
(You've drawn an "X". See Draw two horizontal lines and two vertical lines parallel to the horizontal and vertical edges of the *cardboard*. Draw them end to end making sure the lines, i.e. the corners of rectangle intersect on the diagonal lines. (The corners of the rectangle should lie right on the "X" - you're just drawing a smaller rectangle on top of the "X".) And now you've made an exact scaled down replica of the original rectangle. See this:
Draw one more vertical line and another horizontal line, so you have a rectangle. Cut out the little rectangle you've just made and you've made yourself a viewfinder.
**Cut out the little square.**Cut out the scaled down rectangle you've drawn with the scissors or the X-acto knife. And there you have it: your very own viewfinder.How long to make your lines? You don't even have to worry about it! But as a ball park figure for this exercise shoot for about 1" x 1 1/4" tall. (If you're one of those people who needs to know the exact dimensions here they are: if the vertical lines, the long lines are 1.25 inches long, the horizontal lines will be just a hair more than 0.969 inches long. That's the same "8.5 by 11" ratio. But as long as you draw the lines intersecting on the diagonal lines, you don't have to worry about exact dimensions.) Make more than one viewfinder. I recommend making 3 different sized viewfinders with openings of about 1" by 1 1/4"; 5 and 1/2" by 4 1/4"; and 7" by just a little less than 51/2".
(To make a larger viewfinder or format just place the smaller cardboard viewfinder on a large piece of paper and extend the diagonal lines as far as you like, or until you're out of room. When would you use this? If you wanted to transpose a smaller drawing up to a larger scale.)
Find a chair. (I have some **chairs**on file you can look at if you don't have a chair with good spaces.) Look at it through your viewfinder the way you'd look through a camera viewfinder.Experiment moving the viewfinder different distances from your eye - until you can fit the entire chair within the boundaries of the *opening*. In fact, adjust your view so that the chair appears to contact the edges of the viewfinder in two places. (Not by literally touching the edges but filling the*opening*in your viewfinder with your view of the chair.)Now, since you've chosen a chair with lots of open spaces like a beach chair or a coffee table chair, with perhaps hardwood arms and legs, maybe a slatted arm or backrest, you should have at least a few areas of negative space - **enclosed**negative space - within the image of the chair. You'll also have areas of negative space surrounding the chair.Focus your attention on those spaces. Like you did in the **Lesson 6 exercise**, stare at it until it you perceive it as a*shape*. This may take a few moments. It'll happen.With your attention on the negative spaces, imagine that the chair now disappears, and *Voila!*like the impression left in the canyon floor where Wiley coyote went careening into it, there's nothing left but the negative shapes that surrounded the chair. And*these are going to be what you draw*: the negative spaces that remain after the chair has disappeared. (You'll be drawing a chair in the Lesson 7 exercises.)
It's
puzzling, it's a paradox - that drawing the negative
spaces
The answer
lies in part in the jigsaw puzzle you looked at in an
earlier lesson. You're learning to shift your focus to
the unknown, unnamable parts of the composition. Since
these unnamable shapes share edges with the object, then
by drawing those odd shapes, by default, you draw the
object. And that's the beauty of this method. (Just like
the different pieces of the
As a beginner, when you tried (or try) drawing something you were familiar with, you knew too much about it! Everything you knew about the object was and is invoked, asserted, and insisted on by your left brain. If you were told to draw an elephant, your brain would announce what it knew: four round legs, a trunk, two ivory tusks, a little flyswatter of a tail, peanuts, maybe a little mouse scaring the dickens out of it, maybe a circus scene would come to mind with an elephant balancing on a riser. Even if you had an elephant in front of you, the temptation to draw the "stored" version of the elephant, the symbolic L-brain elephant, would be strong. Before your R-mode training, L-mode made it it's job to raise a fuss about what it knew to be"right". In allowing R-mode a crack at what nature built it to do, L-mode has got to be trained to keep quiet or tricked into idling on the sidelines. However, while you're mastering these techniques - and even after you master them, the two ways of knowing things - directly ( by R-mode) and abstractly or symbolically (L-mode),
- will be in constant competition. But don't fret! You're learning how to evoke R-mode at your beck and call. Here's a
less complicated illustration than the elephant example.
(And it's actually an introduction to what you'll be
learning in lesson 8: proportion and perspective.) You're
looking at an The problem is, if you're not looking at a technical drawing of the table where you see an exact side view, or exact top view, then you're probably not seeing perfect square corners. You're looking down at it from a distance, or you're looking at it obliquely in a three-quarter view.
(Return
to
And this
is the rub: you
There's
this dual nature to everything: what we
In the
real world corners appear to our eyes as Kasbohm & Company's
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