Negative space drawing; how to use it

Negative space drawing; how to use it

You might think that the term ‘negative space drawing’ has connotations of something quite complex, but really it’s referring to the actual objects and the space around the objects that we’re looking at. When we do a drawing, take a photo, or make any art based on objects we usually draw the object in most detail first and leave the majority of the surrounding space to last if at all.

Negative Space Drawing Ideas

Take a life drawing for example. When beginning this life drawing the student most likely concentrated on getting the right arm correct and sometimes glaringly obvious mistakes can happen like arms too long, elbows in the wrong place, etc!

But if you look at the space that we’ve highlighted below between the right arm and body and around the left elbow you can the negative space and that it is quite simple to identify. It’s highlighted in pink/red below.

If you can ensure that by looking at this space and shape you get this right, this will in turn lead to you getting the placement of the elbow correct in relation to the waist. If you have this negative space wrong then this might lead to the elbow being too high up or low down.

Can you see any other negative spaces in this drawing? We’ve highlighted one other one but there are lots of other useful ones to look at (around the head and shoulders on left and right, between left arm and body, under left knee and floor, around the toes and left knee).

Why not view your subject from this kind of perspective next time you’re drawing to see if it helps you to accurately draw the object/subject? We’ve got some great examples of negative space drawing that is just what it says, drawing the negative space, not the object/subject on our Pinterest eCourse Drawing page.

Find out more and study our drawing tutorial eCourse:

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