Where to Start Location Location Location

Basically, you start with a spot and a shape—of negative space. Perhaps we can call this a "spot of space," a basic shape that you can see, from which you can proceed to the next.

We will base our "seeing" of the negative space on this first "spot of space."

Remember that it is a "spot of space" somewhere in or around the chair.

Hold the viewfinder frame very still and frame the chair in the window. Rearrange the chair if necessary to see it at an interesting angle. See the relative angles of the seat, the back, and the legs.

Try to pick a spot of space somewhere inside your chair to start, and really see it. Maybe it is the space between the rungs on the ladder, or between the slats of the back of a rocking chair. Close one eye and " see" that spot until it becomes more real than the chair. You will know when this has happened because it will pop forward as a spot of space while the chair itself will fade or recede.

Now see where that spot is relative to the grid lines on your viewfinder frame. You can also look at the spot through your plastic picture plane to isolate just where it is relative to the grid. If you choose, you can draw your spot on the plastic first and then transfer it to the paper after you see how it works.

Or, you can do your " seeing" through the grid on the plastic and draw the negative spots of space on your paper; it will be a little easier to see where the spots of space are on the plastic grid.

Back to the Drawing Board

Drawing in, and being sensitive to, a format such as negative space is a common problem in beginning drawings. The concentration and focus are on the object and the background is filled in later. But this method often results in the image being poorly placed on the page. No consideration is given to the siting of the object on the page, and the negative space around the object is not part of the arrangement. Usually, it's not considered at all!

Holding the viewfinder very still, frame the chair within it so that there is an interesting angle.

4. Either way, use the grid on your paper to draw the first spot of space on the paper.

5. Think relatively and relationally. Try to see where your spot is relative to the marks on the frame, the grid on the plastic, and the light lines on the paper.

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

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