Tuesday, February 1

Some more right brain drawing

In moments of waiting for other things to happen I've managed to squeeze in some more drawing exercises following the "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" book. I'm working on the "negative spaces" drawing section. You're supposed to close one eye to flatten your view and look for the space created by the negative spaces around an object rather than the form of the object itself. It's supposed to bypass our literal tendency to recognize, name, and symbolize things.
I had more than a few minutes in the car waiting for the Philadelphia parking authority to become helpful. Thus I explored the spaces around the barbed wire fence (above). The drawing method felt a little stiff to me, so I also did a version in my usual sketching manner (below).
 There was quite a long wait at the salon waiting for my daughter's hair to get cut, so I pulled out my sketchbook to draw an empty chair. This one really felt more like the "puzzle pieces" of negative spaces to assemble. The book recommends using a viewfinder to frame the scene. I found drawing a format rather than using the full page to be similarly helpful. 
 With all this negative space drawing, I altered one of the exercises that's recommended. The author tells us to cut a figure out of a magazine page and glue the background pieces to a black board. This results in a silhouette showing how the negative space meets right up with the positive space. Yin and Yang in a way.
I thought this might be a good exercise for helping students recognize how objects can be broken down or made up through geometric shapes. So I found an interestingly-posed figure, cut her out of the picture, glued the background to my sketchbook, and filled the positive space with various sized forms which make up the figure.
I have a lot of students who say "I can't draw!" I wonder if an exercise like this one might help them see the building blocks. What if this figure was made, then a second, mirror image figure was drawn copying the shapes, then fleshed out?

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