Which is Leaf and Which is Space?

January 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

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Here is where I eat crow!!!! In years past I would give my 2D students an assignment where they create as much form in the positive space as the negative. This effect is enhanced by using black and white. Most of us can relate to this by remembering the face vase picture. A vase in the center is framed by faces on either side. Sometimes when we look at it we see the vase as form and the faces as space. Other times we see the faces and the vase becomes spatial. Finally I had to complete such a picture for The Little Book of Drawing and I can tell you it was darn hard!!! It is much easier to instruct someone how to do something than to do it yourself; thus the eating of crow!!!! In this composition, which is an extension of using the leaf form in more complex pieces, we see as much form in the black forms as the white. Other terms for form and space or positive and negative are figure and ground. Which are the leaves and which define the space? It is a tricky thing to accomplish as you need to create absolute equality between positive and negative aspects.

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