Negative Space Drawings

 We’re starting the week by recapping negative spaces. I can’t stress how beneficial it is to train yourself to be able to see the negative spaces in and around objects. This breaking down of how you see objects allows you to truly see the shape and relationships they have with their surroundings. This one simple tactic will improve your overal ability to see like an artist alone. 


Exercise One


Instruction: Fill paper with soft charcoal and use your kneadable eraser to complete this exercise. Focus on the negative space in and around the object, erase these shapes using your eraser.

Materials: Kneadable eraser, soft charcoal, paper, teacup (or other suitable object)

Timer: 10 mins


Exercise Two


Instruction: Move object to a new, interesting position and follow exercise one’s instructions. If you are feeling adventurous try adding in a second object. If you do this take the time to see the negative spaces between the two objects and how they relate to each other and the surface they are on.

Materials: Soft charcoal, paper, teacup (or other suitable object)

Timer: 10 mins


Exercise Three


Instruction: Again, set up your object, or objects, to draw. This time draw the objects using a combination of pencils, starting with the 2H or HB to sketch in, before continuing to shade and adding interest using the 2B and 4B. In this drawing try to switch between focusing on the objects and focusing on their negative spaces. Bringing your attention to the negative space once you have started sketching in the objects is a great way to assess the accuracy of your drawing as you go. You will start to see that the shapes you thought the objects made aren’t quite the same as what you see when you are seeing the negative spaces. If something in your drawing isn’t looking quite right but you can’t put your finger on it — check the negative space!

Materials: 2H – 4B Pencils, paper, object to draw

Timer: 20 mins

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