Learning How to Use Negative Space

Drawing the negative space around an object is a great way to send Old Lefty off again. Why? Because you, and particularly Old Lefty, don't know anything about those spaces. Certainly you have no memory or preconceived notions of them; you have probably never even looked at them. But they are there all right, and they can be mighty handy as guides to seeing and drawing.

For now, those spaces will confuse Old Lefty, and that's what we want. And because you will get no help from Old Lefty, you are free to see—really see—and then, to draw what you see. Once you try it, you will realize that there is something strangely liberating about drawing what isn't there instead of what is. You'll be wondering what is and what isn't, and that's not a bad thing.

The Art of Drawing

As drawing becomes easier for you, the negative space in a more complicated composition is even more important. Compelling arrangement of shapes in great paintings is as much the arrangement of space as shape. The more you see negative space in composition, the better the composition will be.

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Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

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