Negative spaces

Negative space
Negative space experiment -graphite pencil on cartridge paper


Sunday’s creative experiment comes from New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Workbook: Guided Practice in the Five Basic Skills of Drawing Being a terrible old hippy I remember spending hours trying to perfect the technique of ‘seeing the spaces between things’. Too much Carlos Casteneda at an impressionable age, I’m afraid! Now where did I put my ‘flying hat’? 😉

When I first tried this in the workbook I found it very hard indeed. Then yesterday I was watching the play of shadows from the rowan tree on the wall in our bedroom and something shifted and clicked. An ‘aha moment’ I suppose but not a verbal one. I dived off to grab a sketch pad and when I got back- gone! The sun had shifted too! I tried to capture something of what I’d learned by drawing the negative spaces in the plants of the bedroom terrarium.

P1050297When you do the workbook version of this exercise you use a cunning trick to help you. The book comes with a sheet of acetate in a cardboard frame. It’s a bit flimsy so you really have to put more card behind it. Once you have this you place it in front of the thing you are going to draw and trace the basic outlines on with a dry wipe pen.

Once you have your basic outline you use the guidelines to help you transfer it to paper. The pages in the book already have printed guidelines so that makes it fairly straightforward. The outline on the acetate can be quickly wiped off with a bit of kitchen towel.

I used this method for the hand I blogged the other day and for some of the other suggestions in the book but I got really stuck when I got to the negative space bit. I just couldn’t seem to get my head round it. Oh, right, another ‘aha’ I was like this about the optical illusion too. These must be related to my way of seeing, maybe even to my mild dyslexia. Doh!

There are a few of us on the 30 Minutes 30 Days Creativity Challenge Facebook group who are going to work through the exercises in this book each Sunday.


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