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Using negative space to create powerful compositions

From: Foundations of Drawing

Video: Using negative space to create powerful compositions

So what we're going to look at now, is how you can start to use negative space So here the main focus really is going to be Also I can start to see the shapes here on this votive, so that's So the whole roses as a whole, I mean, it looks nice.

Using negative space to create powerful compositions

So what we're going to look at now, is how you can start to use negative space to really build a powerful composition, by starting to arrange objects that you got at home. Often what can happened is, you're not quite sure what to start with, what's going to make an interesting composition, how it's all going to work together. So I'm just going to go through the process of how I start to, bring in objects or take objects out. And then talk to you through step by step, the decisions that I've made to come to the final composition. So here the main focus really is going to be the roses, I think they're going to work really nice.

And all I'm starting to look at, is the shapes and the tones we've got here, and start to look for negative spaces that are there. So if I'm looking at the cup, I'm looking at the space in-between the handle, and I'm turning that around to my viewpoint, so I start to get a shape in between it. Also I can start to see the shapes here on this votive, so that's got some great shapes that are going to cause a nice pattern within the actual drawing. So the whole roses as a whole, I mean, it looks nice.

But when I look at it, when I squint my eyes and just imagine this is one block, one block shape, is really hard to see any spaces in between the actual flowers. It's got a few too many flowers happening into it. So what I'd probably do, is take one of the flowers out, be a couple, and now what it starts to do is create shapes in between where I am looking, and I can start to arrange it. To try and balance the composition, this got a nice, element of space and the actual objects.

But now I can start to see, just by moving these here, that these feel a bit too leafy, there's a bit too much going on. So I'll just move the flowers from this jug into this jug, and if I was doing a painting that I really wanted those nice, vibrant colors, I'd probably go more for this composition. But because we're just looking at negative spaces, and how we can get drama by looking at dark's and lights and the shapes in between objects, just the single flower on its own, and the nice shapes of the leaves, is going to suit us better for this particular still life.

So I'm going to take this jug out and just concentrate on the small one, and then look at the other objects that we can start to use as part of the piece. The other thing you'll notice that I'm working on, is just a grey board, and this just helps cause it's very close in tune to the grey ground that we'll be working on. And can really help just to give you something simple to work on when you're first starting. So the next thing I look at is this jug here, this good, wide jug behind. But the only problem is, is even though it's got some nice spaces in between and it catches the light nicely, Because it's so white, it 's so close in tone to the actual jug, we need something that compliments that contrast with it.

So what I'm going to do is just swap that for the darker jug. So now with this darker jug, it starts to give us something to work next to. And I can start to rearrange the shapes of the handle, so I'm just looking through here. The shapes there and the shapes around the actual lip of the handle, until I get it so it makes a nice shape that balances with the rest of the piece. I feel this jug here, even though a lot of the patterns on it, and would be great for these textures on here, in terms of this composition I think is a bit too busy, so I'm going to take that out as well. SOUND >> And in between the actual silhouettes of what I'm looking at.

You can use overlap which is by putting an object just in front of another object. This is very good for bringing up one object forward. So it's a balance between, overlap and getting those negative spaces, and getting the lights and dark's for working together. So I'm just going to bring these flowers forward, so I've got a bit of a gap between the top of this flower, and top of this jug in my eye line. So I've got a bit of dark around it. So now I'm just changing the angles around, and just tweaking it, until I get this nice flowing throughout the entire piece.

I think I'm going to take out the brown jug, just to simplify the composition. So I'm happy with that now. This is going to make a great base for the drawing later on.

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Foundations of Drawing

33 video lessons · 9940 viewers

Will Kemp
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