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Lesson Plans

Re: no white spots

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Thu, 24 Jun 1999 22:26:57 EDT

In a message dated 6/24/99 6:06:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

This "no white spots" idea is interesting to me. Is it really necessary?
Please don't think I'm being critical, I'm just wondering what specific
artist learning value is it to be sure there are no white spaces besides
that it makes everybody's stuff look more alike and more cohesive as a show
and keeps them busy longer. Is there another way to encourage using the
whole sheet of paper without teaching them that it's somehow "wrong" for the
paper to show? (fear of negative space?)
I certainly understand the need to not waste paper - that's how I got all my
drawing paper as a kid - my cousin routinely drew a few lines and tossed the
paper - he never erased. (We're both artists now, he went the graphic
design/illustration track).

But it reminds me of the French Academy - one of their rules was that no
canvas could show. Letting it show was one of the Academy's many complaints
about the Impressionists. Also, no brushstrokes showing - kind of like
coloring dark and close together?

So after they learn letting paper show is a bad thing, how do you approach
discussing works of art on paper - Japanese brushwork - woodcut - with lots
of huge open spaces?

Betty >>
Thank you, Betty, for daring to say these things. I felt the same way with
regard to the "no white spot" rule, but feared my thoughts would be taken as
criticism. I am trying so hard to teach about "negative space" when we are
drawing in class, because that whole theory never got through to me until
college. When it clicked, my drawing capabilities improved immensely and I
realized the importance of "seeing" these spaces. A professor just leaned
over me and pointed out the "negative space" between the arm and torso, and I
was like a kid, "ooooooooh!" I try to do the same with my students, and this
"no white spot" thing struck me alittle like "keeping them busier" and a
little strict. Perhaps this teacher, and I do not remember who it was, can
explain the rationale more, or has a problem with students saying "I'm done!"
too soon, and this works with them? No criticism intended. Just thoughts! :)