Draw the Holes not the Thing

Check your spot of space shape and the lines that make it, the angle, whether they curve or not, which way, and how far. Check again against the frame. Even if your drawing is larger than the frame, the two are in proportion, so all the relative positions will be the same.

Now, stay focused on the space. As for the chair ... forget about it! Keep one eye closed and find your next spot of space. Find the shape of that spot by seeing it relative to your grid marks. Draw the holes, not the thing.

Here are some things to consider as you draw the negative space:

Try to not think about the chair itself. Think about comparing the shapes of the negative space and the edges of those shapes. Are the lines horizontal or vertical? If they aren't, try to see the angle relative to horizontal or vertical and draw what you see.

Gauge any shape—its lines and angles, curves, or lengths—by seeing it relative to the horizontals, verticals, and diagonals. Begin to see new shapes of negative space relative to the ones you have already drawn.

Draw each new space shape as you can see it. Work carefully, checking each new shape, and remember that they are all in relation to each other.

Try Your Hand

If you are confused, you can take a moment and look again through the plastic picture plane. You can draw the shape of the space there and then transfer it to paper. If you can see where it is on the plastic, draw the shape of that spot of space on your drawing.

Don't think about the chair at all.

If you talk to yourself while drawing, talk to yourself about the relationship between lines and shapes of negative space. Otherwise, don't talk at all. Enjoy the process of real visual thinking, just seeing and drawing shapes of negative space that you have never seen before.

Back to the Drawing Board

If you get confused or have a problem, remember to see the shape relative to the guides—the marks on the frame, the grid on the plastic, the grid on your drawing, and the parts of your drawing that you are sure of.

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