When most people draw the figure, they approach it as an “object-oriented” exercise. The figure is an object, which occupies a certain space within a room. There she sits - boom - simple. Well, it’s not really that simple. There are other forces at work here. The space surrounding the figure can be seen as much as an object (or force) as that mass of humanity sitting in it. The space beyond the figure and around the figure creates interesting negative shapes, planes, and edges when the lines of the space intersect the figure.
Looking Beyond the Figure
Beyond the figure, walls create shapes, table legs create shapes, lamps create shapes, easels create shapes and shadows from these items create shapes. They also create holes in space (think of it as the air between the objects or through the objects).
These have a definitive form, and when they intersect the figure, they give us landmarks for our overall picture plane, which helps to unite it and make for a more cohesive drawing (one that doesn’t happen by chance - one that you control).
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