Leaves in Space

January 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

IMG_4694 Another example of using the negative space to create a sense of balance with the positive. Here the leaves fill the lower left area giving it density, yet the introduction of only a minimal portion of the subject anchors the upper right and works with the space to create harmony in the composition moving the viewers eye up and off the page.

Creating a Sense of Harmony and Balance Between Figure and Ground

January 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

Continuing in the series based on two dimensional design concepts, we look at allowing the spatial areas of our compositions to step forward and claim power on the page. Too often, we tend to try and fill our artwork with subjects that are figural. In order to create a sense of harmony and balance, we need to allow the negative passages to hold as much power as the positive. Here we see the leaves and berries enter the composition from the edges. They reach out to activate the surrounding space. Notice how important the small passages involving the interplay of space and form become.IMG_4695

Which is Leaf and Which is Space?

January 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

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.

Two Dimensional Design Form

December 28, 2014 § Leave a comment


From the writings of Wucius Wong, I would construct my two dimensional design courses around the construct of a unit form. The students were asked to create a form; either white on black or black on white, that would interact and activate the surrounding space. They would then be asked to repeat the form creating a sense of rhythm and repetition. This would provide the basis for more complex compositions.

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