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Watercolor Skills Lessons: Lesson 3

I'm slowly working my way through Anne Elsworth's book and Lesson 3 is drawing "negative space."  This concept is never in my mind when I'm sketching and my spacing would be so much better if I could remember to combine positive and negative space. 

For the first exercise I sketched an old kitchen stool by just filling in the negative spaces.  I used a Derwent 4B pencil with a light wash.


For the second exercise, I trimmed a plant and taped the leaves randomly to a piece of paper.  Then I used an Albrecht Durer watercolor pencil to sketch the negatvie spaces.


For the last exercise, I created a kitchen "still life" and then sketched using a combination of positive and negative spaces. 


I hope that this practice will make me remember how useful it is to always look at the negative spaces when sketching.  I know it intellectually, but just don't "see" them when I'm in the midst of a sketch.


Great job on these Shirley! Isn't it funny how we 'know' things and yet it takes someone saying it to make it important!

These three sketches are very well done, Shirley! the proportions of your chair is just perfect! And you leaves remind me of birds in flight an when you focus on the negative shapes, bottles come to mind! I like this one very much. I like your still life too...it has nice depth already with the shading you put into the objects themselves...the soapdish has special charm.
Great work here!

Your work is lovely. The negative space really pays off! I love the colors on yoru stilllife

I had a lovely catch up visit to your blog today - interesting to see how you are keeping , or not, to your plan for the year. When I finish my fivekradius challenge shortly, I will need a new structure so it's good to see others'. You have done some very worthwhile experimenting and practice.

really like the stool....and the rest too...but the stool especially!

What a great set of excersizes! You did really well working with negative space, and the color you used in your leaf negative space excersize makes it look very graphic. Can you imagine that lovely image used on fabric? Mmmm. Nice work!

I'm on 'catch-up' with your blog having been away and rather preoccupied prior to that.

What a lot of great sketches you've been doing and the projects all sound fascianting as well.

That negative space thing is difficult to get but once 'got' it never leaves you. I find I use it all the time. i guess practice is what makes it stick as a lesson.

These are so well done. The more you practice the exercises, the more you will think about the negative space when you draw. It's just a right brain thing! Nice work!

Thanks for sharing your "lessons", Shirley. Its lovely to see how you're progressing (not that you need to do much of it!). Thanks too for the lovely comments on my blog :)

Thank you Shirley, for your comments on my fivekradius blog - I have put a post up about bike wheels for yesterday's sketchercise.

Shirley, I love how you are shearing your learning exercises, it is a reminder of how worthwhile they are. I think your still life is terrific, the perspective is great and a tribute to the power of the negative shape. I also adore your family quilts and am in awe of the amount of dedication they must take.

Great work! I think negative space is really important and I use it a lot in my drawing, often more so, and more successfully than trying to draw the thing I'm actually drawing.

You really have some great work on here. I love the kitchen things and the shopping basket. AND Earl Grey is my favourite!

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