30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 6- Negative Complex Drawing

30 Day Drawing Challenge Day 6-  Negative Complex Drawing 

I am a positive person, but I’m going to focus on being negative just a little bit longer.  You see, I think “practice makes permanent”.  So  good stuff deserves a little repetition.  

Negative space: The space around and between things. It’s the space between the chairs, or under the table and between the legs.  We are all aware of that space.  We are constantly managing to look for it and find it in order to navigate in this world.


Here we are on Day 6 of our 30 Day Drawing Challenge.  If you missed Day 5, then I encourage you to read the initial explanation of our topic in this previous lesson- “Negative Space”
 Click here for Link to Day 5- Negative Space Introduction .  

How did you do drawing negative shapes yesterday?  Was it really hard?  Do you have a negativity complex now?  I often think that I can relate a little better to dyslexia after trying to think and draw negatively.  It’s like drawing while looking in a mirror…  I have to constantly stop and refocus on my intention to draw the negative space.  Since I’m assuming it may have been difficult for you as well, I want you to look for another group of shapes to put together and form a complex arrangement.  Today, since I am at the beach, I will be using shells.  Get your grouping of items together on a sheet of paper, or to speed things up, you can use my photo.

Let your shapes touch the edge and form defined negative spaces…see! You’re already thinking about the shape of the negative spaces.  
Step 1- Gather pencil, paper, eraser (yes, I’m in a nice mood again 😉 and a few items which will form a grouping.  Arrange your objects on a piece paper which will become your “frame”.  Otherwise, you could also take a photo and use that image as I have done here to create a frame around your items.  Let some of the them intersect the edge of your frame in a few places as pictured above.

Step 2-  Draw a similarly shaped frame in your sketchbook. 

Step 3-  Now look at the shapes around and between your items. 

Step 4-  Draw the arranged pattern, but rather than drawing your objects, draw the shapes around them. and let those shapes form the outer contours of the items in your drawing.  As you can see, the shapes around them will include the edge of your frame as well as the edges of your objects.  

It will look something like this:

Negative space drawing of shells from previous photo

If you’re like me, this second attempt to draw the negative will be much easier and require less mental gymnastics.  I hope you feel the improvement from yesterday…if so, you’re on your way to improved drawing!  Use this trick as a means of simplifying complex arrangements of shapes.

Step 5: Now take this drawing a bit further and fill in some detail.  Maybe extra lines or shadows.  Embellish it to the extent you’d like.  If you’re out of time, then simply call it a day.  

When Finished:  Congratulate yourself on being 20% of the way to our goal of 30 Days!  Hang in there and meet me here again tomorrow.  I have a few more ideas that may continue to open your mind to new ways of drawing.

If you’re enjoying these FREE LESSONs, I hope you’ll do me the favor of leaving a comment.  They make me happy and let me know that somebody out there is benefitting from all the effort to send this information into cyberspace.

You could also like my Facebook page- Rebecca Zdybel- Artist.  I always feel like Sally Field at the Oscars when I get a new “like” on Facebook.

Happy Drawing!


Rebecca Zdybel
Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor
Art Lessons in all media
Myrtle Beach, SC
rebecca@artmyrtlebeach.com

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Rebecca Zdybel is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Follow her and see her work at http://www.artmyrtlebeach.com/
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Author Rebecca Zdybel

Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor - Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art! Rebecca Z Artist (Rebecca Zdybel) is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC. She blogs and teaches locally and internationally. Sign up for her blog, classes, workshops, art travel tours, or see her work at ArtMyrtleBeach.com.

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