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Re: Negative Space Experience


From: kcaraway (kcaraway_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Aug 29 2003 - 22:56:17 PDT

To learn to see negative space, I have my students use a viewfinder and make
several quick simple thumbnail sketches of a still life or student models,
then they blacken in only the negative spaces so they can see the negative
and postive shapes clearly. They select one that has especially pleasing
negative shapes.

We also study a design principle from Japan called Notan--it's really cool,
and based on the balance and tension between positive and negative. The
yin-yang design is based on Notan. I think I first learned of it on this
list years ago and ordered some books that were recommended.

We also briefly look at snapshots with lousy use of negative space, then
contrast that with the same subject but cropped to make the negative shapes
more varied and interesting. It makes it easy for them to see how important
it is for the artist to Then they seem to believe me when I tell
them that while no one is going to say "now my, what great-looking negative
spaces you've got there", viewers will recognize that for some reason, it
has more impact.

Karla Caraway (who just checked this list for the first time since the week
before school started, and who now has over 5000 messages--oops!)