Day 14: Piano Stool – Negative Space

Positive and Negative space drawings

Positive space refers to objects themselves.
Negative space refers to the shapes of spaces between and around objects.  

Rubin’s vase is an optical illusion in which the negative space around the vase forms the silhouettes of two faces in profile, a well-known example of figure-ground reversal by emphasizing that negative space
SOURCE: Wikipedia

Gather Materials:

  • an artist’s journal, unlined notebook, or piece of paper
  • pencil, 8B pencil, blending stump
  • a chair or stool
  • ruler

Today’s Exercise

Negative Space Drawing of a Stool

This YouTube video is a great demo of this exercise.

  • Carefully look for the negative spaces and recreate the space on your sketchpad.
  • be careful to ensure that the spaces between are accurate and correctly lined up.
  • you can use a ruler to make sure your lines are line up properly
  • take one colour and colour in the negative spaces. You can practice working on value.  Press harder to create a darker value close to the stool and as you pull away ease up on your pressure to lighten the value.

Here is my attempt at a negative space piano stool

piano stool negative image

Reflections on the Exercise

  • This was so hard!
  • Need to start with a neutral background behind the object to reduce visual noise.
  • Get a good angle on the stool before you start to draw – maybe next time, use a simpler stool.
  • I used the 8B pencil and blending stump to do shading and go around the outline at the end
  • This exercise takes longer than a lot of the others. This is best done when I’m not feeling rushed.

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