[Drawing Ideas] Great Composition

Learn to See the Negative Shapes or Space


Your Drawings Go from Good to Great!


drawing - negative space

Negative Space outlined in Red

As humans, we are so conditioned to focus on the object in front of us.

As artists, it is important to see the spaces between and around the objects.

These spaces are important and hold relative location and proportions that do not exist in the objects themselves.

Learning to see and draw the shapes between the lines that make up an object with help you correctly render your subject.

You can see in the photo the negative shape or space around the horse.

Teaching yourself to see the negative shapes/space will help you accurately draw the horse without trying to render the horse.

This way, you are drawing what you see and not what you know.

Expressive Drawing – CROP

Model N – Area of Focus

Here is the perfect example of looking at negative space.

Check out the focus area.
See the area around the right side of the head.
Be very aware of it’s shape.
See the shape between the hand and the shoulder on the left.
Record it’s shape.

Crop for a dynamic composition.

After you’ve completed the drawing…Crop it.
Again look at the negative shapes as you begin to draw.

TIP: Use an old mat with an opening same size ratio as your paper
Hold it over the first drawing to find a new composition.

Draw the New Composition

Portrait - Drawing

Cropped - Drawing #2

Thanks to looking for negative shapes…
You now have an even more dynamic piece of art..

Attention Photographers.

This same concept works for you. Your viewfinder is your old mat.
Look at the negative shapes before you shoot, or…recompose.


I often mat a drawing with a weighted bottom mat.
Notice the heavier bottom, adds drama to the drawing.

Join The Weekly Blog Updates

I post to the blog every day, with interesting fun things.
Drawing, Painting, Decorating Tips, Fun Topics, Artists to Know, and more.
Get all of the week’s articles in one email wrap-up.


click here … Like Me On  Facebook

Previous post:

Next post: