Using the Space Around the Subject

September 17, 2013 § Leave a comment


Here the forms are generally dark in value and the space around them are light, providing a stark contrast. There is also a give and take between the light palm leaves and the dark; creating a sense of interplay and a link with the frontal shapes and the ground. Think of the subjects as figures and the space as ground. Take the time to examine how you can activate portions of the composition usually not thought about by allowing the plants to break out of the borders, create dynamic movement, and instill interesting connections within those areas.  Allow a real give and take between the positive figures and the negative space.


Importance of the Negative Space

September 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

Negative Space Ink

Too often we pay little attention to the space surrounding our subject.  By defining the borders and allowing the forms you are portraying to meander off and out of the picture plane, the composition is opened up to new possibilities,  When the viewer is allowed to imagine what happens outside of the border, you begin to create interesting relationships with the space and form.

My Friend Hazel

August 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

HazelI’m posting a drawing I completed of Hazel in the nursing home.  She was a dear friend and a wonderful piano teacher!!  This drawing perhaps goes further than most in telling a story of a person reflecting upon her life as she gazes out the window.  Notice the artistic devices of the dog sitting at her feet looking inward and the plant as it points outward leading the viewer’s eye throughout the composition and supporting the story line.

Contour Used in Real Time

August 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

IMG_3464Through the years of studying drawing in both the studio arts and design fields, I have come to appreciate the importance of the contour as the framework for success.  Too many times, I would work on a piece without any real notion of what the finished work would look like.  If it was successful, largely it was because of happen-stance.  When the realization that the contour provides all the information for a well thought out composition came to me, it was a revelation.  I have been a true proponent for its value ever since.  The contour defines the light source, it describes the form of the subject, it reveals the composition of the drawing, but what is even more important; it reveals the personality of the artist.  What more could you ask for?!  I am working on a color drawing of Jess and Frankie, her Boston Terrier.  The light source is coming from the upper left.  Notice how the contour describes the form of her face and what lies under the fur of the dog.  Every area of the drawing is well thought out before creating any gradations.  The outer corners are not given as much prominence as the areas of the faces.  Notice how the contours move from light to dark as they follow the light source and define the three dimensional nature of the subjects.  Examine the relationship of the contour with the border of the drawing as the viewer imagines the continuation of the arm, the bodies outside of the parameters of the piece.  Take the time to see that my contour is uniquely mine and will be very different from yours.  An understanding of the contour and its place in the drawing process is revealed in The Little Book of Drawing.  Feel free to give me input!

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