So far, we have located some gaps in the abilities of the left hemisphere. It has problems with mirror images (as in the Vase/Faces drawing). It can't deal with upside-down perceptual information (as in the upside-down Stravinsky drawing). It refuses to process slow, complex perceptions (as in the Pure and Modified Contour drawings). We used those gaps to give R-mode a chance to process visual information without interference from L-mode.
The next lesson on negative space is designed to reestablish your grasp of the unity of spaces and forms in composition, which you had as a child.
7 Shape of a Space: The Positive Aspects of Negative Space
In this CHAPTER, we'll take up the next component skill of drawing—the perception of negative spaces. You will use your new skills of seeing and drawing complicated edges in order to draw the edges of negative spaces.
This exercise will be a stretch for some, a joy for others. There is an antic or whimsical quality to seeing negative spaces. In a sense, you are seeing what is not there. In American life, it is often a new experience to realize that spaces are important. We tend to focus on objects; we are an objective culture. In other cultures, working "within the space of a problem" is common practice. My aim is to make spaces become "real" for you and to provide a new experience in seeing.
In this chapter, you will also learn to find and use a "Basic Unit" that will enable you to correctly size the first shape you draw. And you will dip into lights and shadows by working on a toned ground.
Let's quickly review the five basic skills of drawing. Remember, these are perceptual skills: The perception of
• Edges (line of contour drawing)
• Spaces (negative spaces)
• Relationships (proportion and perspective)
• Lights and shadows (shading)
• The gestalt (the "thingness" of the thing)
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