Techniques - Warm up & Practice Exercises

Negative-Space Drawing




This is often viewed as one of the most important skills in drawing (and I think that this style of exercise looks great as a finished piece of work also!).  This exercise helps to break down 3D into a 2D format in order to draw it based upon its boundaries of a shape.

Negative space is the concept of space surrounding an object and, in drawing, share edges with the positive space.  The object that you wish to draw is the positive space and the surrounding area (ie. the space that the subject does not occupy) is the negative space.  This exercise will make drawing easier and assist your mind to not just assign the object that you are drawing as its actual physical form but helps you to look at it as a physical shape. 






1)  Choose an object to draw (choose simple silhouettes that will have edges that are easy to track to begin with). 


2)  Fill in the spaces around the object - by doing so it will inadvertently enable you to actually draw the object.


3)  Any lines and overlapping of edges of the object within the positive space should not be filled in; everything within the positive space should be left blank.


4)  It's a good idea to time yourself (perhaps set an alarm) and, with practice, you should improve on your speed of this type of drawing.