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Tag Archives: negative space

We just completed our fall beginning drawing class.

We began with blind continuous line drawing.

Audrey Schultheis

Audrey Schultheis

We progressed to continuous and broken line drawing…

Joel Harmeyer

Joel Harmeyer

…with an emphasis on cross contour and form:

Andrea Harneyer2

Andrea Harneyer2

We studied and drew objects that had negative space that helped define their shape.

Betty Bercot3

Betty Bercot3

Andrea Harmeyer5

Andrea Harmeyer5

We studied perspective and drew interiors.

Audrey Schultheis4

Audrey Schultheis4

We studied value from still life…

Betty Bercot6

Betty Bercot6

…and photos:

Dawn Amstutz 4

Dawn Amstutz 4

We practiced all our skills the last night of class using an Elegant Writer” calligraphy pen to create a line a wash drawing.

Dawn Amstutz6

Dawn Amstutz6

Joel Harmeyer5

Joel Harmeyer5

If you would like to view more examples of their work click here.

Thank you to all the students who agreed to share their work here!

I just finished teaching a six week class of beginning drawing. I have posted a selection of drawings on a page that you can reach by clicking here. Thank you to all the students who contributed their work to this post and the attached page.

Here is a description of some of the things we worked on in this class:

Andrea Ritter

Andrea Ritter

We worked on blind continuous line and looking continuous line drawings. The students were asked to feel the form of what they were drawing. We did this with hands and apples and self portraits and they practiced with other objects they found around their home for homework. We discussed and practiced cross contours, not just the outlines of things we were studying.

Rose Clair

Rose Clair

We studied negative space and drew the shapes we viewed between the legs and supports of a stool in order to find the positive shape of that stool. Drawing the shapes between the edges of the leaves of plants and slats on a chair are good for practice seeing negative space and shapes.

Andrea Ritter2

Andrea Ritter2

Donald Cooper4

Donald Cooper4

We learned to measure shapes and to determine angles with our pencils and how to translate them onto our page. Everyone practiced this skill by drawing an interior room. We learned that objects overlap in space and get smaller when distant. We learned that objects became blurry and less clear in the distance and that all these things enhanced depth in a drawing. This helped us to get our drawings into perspective and to become more believable.

Rose Clair3

Rose Clair3

On the 4th week we began to study value. We, first, studied the different ways we could shade and make marks; side of pencil, pointillism, crosshatching, squiggles and lines rendered side by side.

We used photos of strips of eyes to practice shading in the value shapes in medium and dark tones, leaving the white of the paper for our lights.

Susie Covitt3

Susie Covitt3

We also cut a colored photo into strips and studied the value changes in color by translating the shapes of values we saw into graphite.

Susie Covitt4

Susie Covitt4

We practiced drawing and shading clear glass objects from life. Note how this artist used different pencil marks to indicate the contours of the bottles.

Dianna Chad3

Dianna Chad3

We practiced drawing and shading a self portrait as viewed in a mirror. We all remarked about the “self portrait stares” we were getting. 🙂

Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper

Andrea Ritter3

Andrea Ritter3

We learned to grid a photo and transform the format of the photo and the grid onto our drawing paper.

Dianna Chad4

Dianna Chad4

We used all the skills we had learned to draw a still life of a pile of boxes.

Viewers can enlarge any of the above drawings by just clicking on them.

  continous line drawing

Every year, I teach a beginning drawing class and am reminded about how important it is to learn to “see” and to begin to feel the curve and shape of a form. My favorite way to draw is like the above picture of a father and daughter. I begin with one line and pretend I am drawing across and around their form, making choices, all the time, as to what bumps my pencil up or down or makes it curve and circle. It took me a long time to learn that every image I create may not be perfectly proportionate but that it would have some truth of the reality of the subject I chose to see. I think that is the real joy of being able to draw and anyone can draw, you know……..

My students begin by drawing blind line drawings of hands and faces and objects.

blind line of hand

blind line of face

They are instructed to feel the form and to pretend as though the pencil is touching the surface of the object they are drawing. They are instructed to include cross countours and move their pencils in arcs where the form bulges out and would change the form of their line.  All of this is done while studying the form and not looking at the paper. This allows us to turn off that left brain that wants to tell us how ugly our drawing is and allows our right brain to “see” more intimately and encourage our hand to discover the true shape of things.

Next we draw continuous line drawings while studying an object, in the same manner but we are allowed to look back and forth from object to the paper.

continous line of the hand

continous line of a bottle.

We note where we moved into a form and crossed over it and included indications of cross contours in the forms we created like wrinkles around the joints of the fingers and highlights in a clear glass bottle.

We, then, begin breaking our lines and draw, in contour line, the ghost of an object or objects without values of light, midtone and darks.

contour line self portrait

contour line of hands

Note that the green hand is an image of my right hand. I drew it with my non-dominant hand (left).  I have found I can draw as well with my left hand. It just takes me LONGER.

Next, we studied the negative space surrounding something and learned we could come up with the image, itself. ….and we could always use negative space to bring our positive object into a more proportionate drawing.

negative space of a slide

negative space child on a swing

Now on to value and perspective  Yay!

Pat Dooley 2

We studied Blind line contour.

Tina Rutledge 3

We studied drawing in one continuous line as though we were feeling the edges of the form with the point of our pencil.

Tina Rutledge

We practiced drawing cross contours to describe form.

Sheila Kiester

We learned to see and use negative space; the space and shapes around a form.

Edmond Strange 3

We learned about and practiced perspective and how to use our pencils to measure distance and determine angles.

Sheila Kiester 3 Cloud Study

We talked about different marks we could make to describe values and form.

Lauren Pena

We practiced value studies from photographs and

Mary Ann Roach 2

Jeanne Franke

value studies we drew from still lifes illuminated by a light source.

Last night we finished the above class in beginning drawing. You can view the above drawings and more by visiting the Student Art 1 Page here. Thank you to all those who participated in this class!